Proposed Bill Would ‘Ban’ Initiatives, Referendums, in “Odd” Years
It has not gathered much attention, partly because the Washington State 2020 Legislative session is barely over a week old.
But a rather 'interesting' House Bill has been proposed. HB 2529. It would basically 'ban' citizens or anyone's right to file an Initiative (such as I-976 $30 car tabs) in an 'odd' calendar year, as was done in 2019 with I-976. The same would apply for Referendums.
So far, no concrete specific reasons have been found for this change. There's a lot of speculation among opponents of the idea, some say it's a direct reaction to the filing and passage of I-976 which many in the political establishment did not think would happen. Others say it's to 'cut back' on election and support costs of such measures.
More people think the reasons are nefarious, to slightly, little by little, limit citizens right to petition and resist legislation.
Regardless of the reasoning, opponents, including a number of Republican legislators, point out if passed this would violate the State Constitution. It grants the right of Initiatives and Referendums at any time--provided�� those who file them meet the criteria required to get them on the ballot.
It may take over a year or more to gather the required signatures, but when that is finished, a petitioner can submit an Initiative or Referendum at ANY time to be included on the upcoming November ballot. If this bill passes, Initiatives and Referendums would only be allowed to be filed in even years, such as 2024, 2026 etc.
11 Democratic House Reps have sponsored and agreed to support this bill.
To read this (confusing) bill, click on the button below: