Washington State Constitution
- 1 Preamble
- 2 Article I - Declaration of Rights
- 3 Article II - Legislative Department
- 4 Article III - The Executive
- 5 Article IV - The Judiciary
- 6 Article V - Impeachment
- 7 Article VI - Elections and Elective Rights
- 8 Article VII - Revenue and Taxation
- 9 Article VIII - State, County and Municipal Indebtedness
- 10 Article IX - Education
- 11 Article X - Militia
- 12 Article XI - County, City and Township Organization
- 13 Article XII - Corporations Other Than Municipal
- 14 Article XIII - State Institutions
- 15 Article XIV - Seat of Government
- 16 Article XV - Harbors and Tide Waters
- 17 Article XVI - School and Granted Lands
- 18 Article XVII - Tide Lands
- 19 Article XVIII - State Seal
- 20 Article XIX - Exemptions
- 21 Article XX - Public Health and Vital Statistics
- 22 Article XXI - Water and Water Rights
- 23 Article XXII - Legislative Apportionment
- 24 Article XXIII - Amendments
- 25 Article XXIV - Boundaries
- 26 Article XXV - Jurisdiction
- 27 Article XXVI - Compact with the United States
- 28 Article XXVII - Schedule
- 29 Article XXVIII - Compensation of State Officers
- 30 Article XXIX - Investments of Public Pension and Retirement Funds
- 31 Article XXX - Compensation of Public Officers
- 32 Article XXXI - Sex Equality, Rights and Responsibilities
- 33 Article XXXII - Special Revenue Financing
We, the people of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this constitution.
Article I - Declaration of Rights
Section 1 - Political Power
All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.
Section 2 - Supreme Law of the Land
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.
Section 3 - Personal Rights
No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
Section 4 - Right of Petition and Assemblage
The right of petition and of the people peaceably to assemble for the common good shall never be abridged.
Section 5 - Freedom of Speech
Every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right.
Section 6 - Oaths-Mode of Administering
The mode of administering an oath, or affirmation, shall be such as may be most consistent with and binding upon the conscience of the person to whom such oath, or affirmation, may be administered.
Section 7 - Invasion of Private Affairs or Home Prohibited
No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.
Section 8 - Irrevocable Privilege, Franchise, or Immunity Prohibited
No law granting irrevocably any privilege, franchise or immunity, shall be passed by the legislature.
Section 11 - Religious Freedom
Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief, and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person, or property, on account of religion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state. No public money or property shall be appropriated for, or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or the support of any religious establishment. No religious qualification shall be required for any public office, or employment, nor shall any person be incompetent as a witness, or juror, in consequence of his opinion on matters of religion, nor be questioned in any court of justice touching his religious belief to affect the weight of his testimony.
Section 12 - Special Privileges and Immunities Prohibited
No law shall be passed granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens, or corporations.
Section 13 - Habeas Corpus
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless in case of rebellion or invasion the public safety requires it.
Section 15 - Convictions, Effect of
No conviction shall work corruption of blood, nor forfeiture of estate.
Section 16 - Eminent Domain
Private property shall not be taken for private use, except for private ways of necessity, and for drains, flumes or ditches on or across the lands of others for agricultural, domestic or sanitary purposes. No private property shall be taken or damaged for public or private use without just compensation having first been made, or paid into court for the owner, and no right of way shall be appropriated to the use of any corporation other than municipal, until full compensation therefor be first made in money, or ascertained and paid into the court for the owner, irrespective of any benefit from any improvement proposed by such corporation, which compensation shall be ascertained by a jury, unless a jury be waived as in other civil cases in courts of record, in the manner prescribed by law. Whenever an attempt is made to take private property for a use alleged to be public, the question whether the contemplated use be really public shall be a judicial question, and determined as such without regard to any legislative assertion that the use is public.
Section 17 - Imprisonment for Debt
There shall be no imprisonment for debt, except in cases of absconding debtors.
Section 18 - Military Power, Limitation of
The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.
Section 19 - Freedom of Elections
All Elections shall be free and equal, and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.
Section 21 - Trial by Jury
The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, but the legislature may provide for a jury of any number less than twelve in courts not of record, and for a verdict by nine or more jurors in civil cases in any court of record, and for waiving of the jury in civil cases where the consent of the parties interested is given thereto.
Section 22 - Rights of Accused Persons
In criminal prosecution, the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person, and by counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a copy thereof, to testify in his own behalf, to meet the witnesses against him face to face, to have compulsory process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his own behalf, to have a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county in which the offense is alleged to have been committed, and the right to appeal in all cases; and, in no instance, shall any accused person before final judgment be compelled to advance money or fees to secure the rights herein guaranteed.
Section 24 - Right to Bear Arms
The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this Section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.
Section 26 - Grand Jury
No grand jury shall be drawn or summoned in any county, except the superior judge thereof shall so order.
Section 27 - Treason, Defined, Etc.
Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against the state, or adhering to its enemies, or in giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or confession in open court.
Section 28 - Hereditary Privileges Abolished
No hereditary emoluments, privileges, or powers, shall be granted or conferred in this state.
Section 29 - Constitution Mandatory
The provisions of this Constitution are mandatory, unless by express words they are declared to be otherwise.
Section 30 - Rights Reserved
The enumeration in this Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny others retained by the people.
Section 31 - Standing Army
No standing army shall be kept up by this state in time of peace, and no soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of its owner, nor in time of war except in the manner prescribed by law.
Section 32 - Fundamental Principles
A frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is essential to the security of individual right and the perpetuity of free government.
Article II - Legislative Department
Section 2 - House of Representatives and Senate
The house of representatives shall be composed of not less than sixty-three nor more than ninety-nine members. The number of senators shall not be more than one-half nor less than one-third of the number of members of the house of representatives. The first legislature shall be composed of seventy members of the house of representatives, and thirty-five senators.
Section 3 - The Census
The legislature shall provide by law for an enumeration of the inhabitants of the state in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety-five and every ten years thereafter; and at the first session after such enumeration, and also after each enumeration made by the authority of the United States, the legislature shall apportion and district anew the members of the senate and house of representatives, according to the number of inhabitants, excluding Indians not taxed, soldiers, sailors and officers of the United States army and navy in active service.
Section 4 - Election of Representatives and Term of Office
Members of the house of representatives shall be elected in the year eighteen hundred and eighty-nine at the time and in the manner provided by this Constitution, and shall hold their offices for the term of one year and until their successors shall be elected.
Section 5 - Elections, When to be Held
The next election of the members of the house of representatives after the adoption of this Constitution shall be on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November, eighteen hundred and ninety, and thereafter, members of the house of representatives shall be elected biennially and their term of office shall be two years; and each election shall be on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, unless otherwise changed by law.
Section 6 - Election and Term of Office of Senators
After the first election the senators shall be elected by single districts of convenient and contiguous territory, at the same time and in the same manner as members of the house of representatives are required to be elected; and no representative district shall be divided in the formation of a senatorial district. They shall be elected for the term of four years, one-half of their number retiring every two years. The senatorial districts shall be numbered consecutively, and the senators chosen at the first election had by virtue of this Constitution, in odd numbered districts, shall go out of office at the end of the first year; and the senators, elected in the even numbered districts, shall go out of office at the end of the third year.
Section 7 - Qualification of Legislators
No person shall be eligible to the legislature who shall not be a citizen of the United States and a qualified voter in the district for which he is chosen.
Section 8 - Judges of Their Own Election and Qualification-Quorum
Each house shall be the judge of the election, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.
Section 9 - Rules of Procedure
Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish for contempt and disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members elected, expel a member, but no member shall be expelled a second time for the same offense.
Section 10 - Election of Officers
Each house shall elect its own officers; and when the lieutenant governor shall not attend as president, or shall act as governor, the senate shall choose a temporary president. When presiding, the lieutenant governor shall have the deciding vote in case of an equal division of the senate.
Section 11 - Journal, Publicity of Meetings-Adjournments
Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings and publish the same, except such parts as require secrecy. The doors of each house shall be kept open, except when the public welfare shall require secrecy. Neither house shall adjourn for more than three days, nor to any place other than that in which they may be sitting, without the consent of the other.
Section 12 - Sessions, When-Duration
The first legislature shall meet on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in November, A. D., 1889. The second legislature shall meet on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in January, A. D., 1891, and sessions of the legislature shall be held biennially thereafter, unless specially convened by the governor, but the times of meeting of subsequent sessions may be changed by the legislature. After the first legislature the sessions shall not be more than sixty days.
Section 13 - Limitation on Members Holding Office in the State
No member of the legislature, during the term for which he is elected, shall be appointed or elected to any civil office in the state, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during the term for which he was elected.
Section 14 - Same, Federal or Other Office
No person, being a member of congress, or holding any civil or military office under the United States or any other power, shall be eligible to be a member of the legislature; and if any person after his election as a member of the legislature, shall be elected to congress or be appointed to any other office, civil or military, under the government of the United States, or any other power, his acceptance thereof shall vacate his seat, provided, that officers in the militia of the state who receive no annual salary, local officers and postmasters, whose compensation does not exceed three hundred dollars per annum, shall not be ineligible.
Section 15 - Writs of Election to Fill Vacancies
The governor shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies as may occur in either house of the legislature.
Section 16 - Privileges From Arrest
Members of the legislature shall be privileged from arrest in all cases except treason, felony and breach of the peace; they shall not be subject to any civil process during the session of the legislature, nor for fifteen days next before the commencement of each session.
Section 17 - Freedom of Debate
No member of the legislature shall be liable in any civil action or criminal prosecution whatever, for words spoken in debate.
Section 18 - Style of Laws
The style of the laws of the state shall be: "Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Washington." And no laws shall be enacted except by bill.
Section 20 - Origin and Amendment of Bills
Any bill may originate in either house of the legislature, and a bill passed by one house may be amended in the other.
Section 21 - Yeas and Nays
The yeas and nays of the members of either house shall be entered on the journal, on the demand of one-sixth of the members present.
Section 22 - Passage of Bills
No bill shall become a law unless on its final passage the vote be taken by yeas and nays, the names of the members voting for and against the same be entered on the journal of each house, and a majority of the members elected to each house be recorded thereon as voting in its favor.
Section 23 - Compensation of Members
Each member of the legislature shall receive for his services five dollars for each day's attendance during the session, and ten cents for every mile he shall travel in going to and returning from the place of meeting of the legislature, on the most usual route.
Section 24 - Lotteries and Divorce
The legislature shall never authorize any lottery or grant any divorce.
Section 25 - Extra Compensation, Prohibited
The legislature shall never grant any extra compensation to any public officer, agent, servant, or contractor, after the services shall have been rendered, or the contract entered into, nor shall the compensation of any public officer be increased or diminished during his term of office.
Section 26 - Suits Against the State
The legislature shall direct by law, in what manner, and in what courts, suits may be brought against the state.
Section 27 - Elections-Viva Voce Vote
In all elections by the legislature the members shall vote viva voce, and their votes shall be entered on the journal.
Section 28 - Special Legislation
The legislature is prohibited from enacting any private or special laws in the following cases:
- For changing the names of persons, or constituting one person the heir at law of another.
- For laying out, opening or altering highways, except in cases of state roads extending into more than one county, and military roads to aid in the construction of which lands shall have been or may be granted by congress.
- For authorizing persons to keep ferries wholly within this state.
- For authorizing the sale or mortgage of real or personal property of minors, or others under disability.
- For assessment or collection of taxes, or for extending the time for collection thereof.
- For granting corporate powers or privileges.
- For authorizing the apportionment of any part of the school fund.
- For incorporating any town or village or to amend the charter thereof.
- From giving effect to invalid deeds, wills or other instruments.
- Releasing or extinguishing in whole or in part, the indebtedness, liability or other obligation, of any person, or corporation to this state, or to any municipal corporation therein.
- Declaring any person of age or authorizing any minor to sell, lease, or encumber his or her property.
- Legalizing, except as against the state, the unauthorized or invalid act of any officer.
- Regulating the rates of interest on money.
- Remitting fines, penalties or forfeitures.
- Providing for the management of common schools.
- Authorizing the adoption of children.
- For limitation of civil or criminal actions.
- Changing county lines, locating or changing county seats, provided, this shall not be construed to apply to the creation of new counties.
Section 29 - Convict Labor
After the first day of January eighteen hundred and ninety the labor of convicts of this state shall not be let out by contract to any person, copartnership, company or corporation, and the legislature shall by law provide for the working of convicts for the benefit of the state.
Section 30 - Bribery or Corrupt Solicitation
The offense of corrupt solicitation of members of the legislature, or of public officers of the state or any municipal division thereof, and any occupation or practice of solicitation of such members or officers to influence their official action, shall be defined by law, and shall be punished by fine and imprisonment. Any person may be compelled to testify in any lawful investigation or judicial proceeding against any person who may be charged with having committed the offense of bribery or corrupt solicitation, or practice of solicitation, and shall not be permitted to withhold his testimony on the ground that it may criminate himself or subject him to public infamy, but such testimony shall not afterwards be used against him in any judicial proceeding - except for perjury in giving such testimony - and any person convicted of either of the offenses aforesaid, shall as part of the punishment therefor, be disqualified from ever holding any position of honor, trust or profit in this state. A member who has a private interest in any bill or measure proposed or pending before the legislature, shall disclose the fact to the house of which he is a member, and shall not vote thereon.
Section 31 - Laws, When to Take Effect
No law, except appropriation bills, shall take effect until ninety days after the adjournment of the session at which it was enacted, unless in case of an emergency (which emergency must be expressed in the preamble or in the body of the act) the legislature shall otherwise direct by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house; said vote to be taken by yeas and nays and entered on the journals.
Section 32 - Laws, How Signed
No bill shall become a law until the same shall have been signed by the presiding officer of each of the two houses in open session, and under such rules as the legislature shall prescribe.
Section 33 - Ownership of Lands by Aliens, Prohibited
The ownership of lands by aliens, other than those who in good faith have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, is prohibited in this state, except where acquired by inheritance, under mortgage or in good faith in the ordinary course of justice in the collection of debts; and all conveyances of lands hereafter made to any alien directly or in trust for such alien shall be void: Provided, That the provisions of this Section shall not apply to lands containing valuable deposits of minerals, metals, iron, coal, or fire-clay, and the necessary land for mills and machinery to be used in the development thereof and the manufacture of the products therefrom. Every corporation, the majority of the capital stock of which is owned by aliens, shall be considered on alien for the purposes of this prohibition.
Section 34 - Bureau of Statistics, Agriculture and Immigration
There shall be established in the office of the secretary of state, a bureau of statistics, agriculture and immigration, under such regulations as the legislature may provide.
Section 35 - Protection of Employees
The legislature shall pass necessary laws for the protection of persons working in mines, factories and other employments dangerous to life or deleterious to health; and fix pains and penalties for the enforcement of the same.
Section 36 - When Bills Must Be Introduced
No bill shall be considered in either house unless the time of its introduction shall have been at least ten days before the final adjournment of the legislature, unless the legislature shall otherwise direct by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, said vote to be taken by yeas and nays and entered upon the journal, or unless the same be at a special session.
Section 37 - Revision or Amendment
No act shall ever be revised or amended by mere reference to its title, but the act revised or the Section amended shall be set forth at full length.
Section 38 - Limitation on Amendments
No amendment to any bill shall be allowed which shall change the scope and object of the bill.
Section 39 - Free Transportation to Public Officer Prohibited
It shall not be lawful for any person holding public office in this state to accept or use a pass or to purchase transportation from any railroad or other corporation, other than as the same may be purchased by the general public, and the legislature shall pass laws to enforce this provision.
Section 40 - Highway Funds
All fees collected by the State of Washington as license fees for motor vehicles and all excise taxes collected by the State of Washington on the sale, distribution or use of motor vehicle fuel and all other state revenue intended to be used for highway purposes, shall be paid into the state treasury and placed in a special fund to be used exclusively for highway purposes. Such highway purposes shall be construed to include the following: (a) The necessary operating, engineering and legal expenses connected with the administration of public highways, county roads and city streets; (b) The construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, and betterment of public highways, county roads, bridges and city streets; including the cost and expense of (1) acquisition of rights-of-way, (2) installing, maintaining and operating traffic signs and signal lights, (3) policing by the state of public highways, (4) operation of movable span bridges, (5) operation of ferries which are a part of any public highway, county road, or city street; (c) The payment or refunding of any obligation of the State of Washington, or any political subdivision thereof, for which any of the revenues described in section 1 may have been legally pledged prior to the effective date of this act; (d) Refunds authorized by law for taxes paid on motor vehicle fuels; (e) The cost of collection of any revenues described in this section: Provided, That this section shall not be construed to include revenue from general or special taxes or excises not levied primarily for highway purposes, or apply to vehicle operator's license fees or any excise tax imposed on motor vehicles or the use thereof in lieu of a property tax thereon, or fees for certificates of ownership of motor vehicles.
Section 41 - Laws, Effective Date, Initiative, Referendum -- Amendment or Repeal
No act, law, or bill subject to referendum shall take effect until ninety days after the adjournment of the session at which it was enacted. No act, law or bill approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon shall be amended or repealed by the legislature within a period of two years following such enactment: Provided, That any such act, law or bill may be amended within two years after such enactment at any regular or special session of the legislature by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house with full compliance with section 12, Article III, of the Washington Constitution, and no amendatory law adopted in accordance with this provision shall be subject to referendum. But such enactment may be amended or repealed at any general regular or special election by direct vote of the people thereon. These provisions supersede the provisions of subsection (c) of section 1 of this article as amended by the seventh amendment to the Constitution of this state.
Section 42 - Governmental Continuity During Emergency Periods
The legislature, in order to insure continuity of state and local governmental operations in periods of emergency resulting from enemy attack, shall have the power and the duty, immediately upon and after adoption of this amendment, to enact legislation providing for prompt and temporary succession to the powers and duties of public offices of whatever nature and whether filled by election or appointment, the incumbents and legal successors of which may become unavailable for carrying on the powers and duties of such offices; the legislature shall likewise enact such other measures as may be necessary and proper for insuring the continuity of governmental operations during such emergencies. Legislation enacted under the powers conferred by this amendment shall in all respects conform to the remainder of the Constitution: Provided, That if, in the judgment of the legislature at the time of disaster, conformance to the provisions of the Constitution would be impracticable or would admit of undue delay, such legislation may depart during the period of emergency caused by enemy attack only, from the following sections of the Constitution: Article 14, Sections 1 and 2, Seat of Government; Article 2, Sections 8, 15 (Amendments 13 and 32), and 22, Membership, Quorum of Legislature and Passage of Bills; Article 3, Section 10 (Amendment 6), Succession to Governorship: Provided, That the legislature shall not depart from Section 10, Article III, as amended by Amendment 6, of the state Constitution relating to the Governor's office so long as any successor therein named is available and capable of assuming the powers and duties of such office as therein prescribed; Article 3, Section 13, Vacancies in State Offices; Article 11, Section 6, Vacancies in County Offices; Article 11, Section 2, Seat of County Government; Article 3, Section 24, State Records.
Section 43 - Redristricting
- (1) In January of each year ending in one, a commission shall be established to provide for the redistricting of state legislative and congressional districts.
- (2) The commission shall be composed of five members to be selected as follows: The legislative leader of the two largest political parties in each house of the legislature shall appoint one voting member to the commission by January 15th of each year ending in one. By January 31st of each year ending in one, the four appointed members, by an affirmative vote of at least three, shall appoint the remaining member. The fifth member of the commission, who shall be nonvoting, shall act as its chairperson. If any appointing authority fails to make the required appointment by the date established by this subsection, within five days after that date the supreme court shall make the required appointment.
- (3) No elected official and no person elected to legislative district, county, or state political party office may serve on the commission. A commission member shall not have been an elected official and shall not have been an elected legislative district, county, or state political party officer within two years of his or her appointment to the commission. The provisions of this subsection do not apply to the office of precinct committee person.
- (4) The legislature shall enact laws providing for the implementation of this section, to include additional qualifications for commissioners and additional standards to govern the commission. The legislature shall appropriate funds to enable the commission to carry out its duties.
- (5) Each district shall contain a population, excluding nonresident military personnel, as nearly equal as practicable to the population of any other district. To the extent reasonable, each district shall contain contiguous territory, shall be compact and convenient, and shall be separated from adjoining districts by natural geographic barriers, artificial barriers, or political subdivision boundaries. The commission's plan shall not provide for a number of legislative districts different than that established by the legislature. The commission's plan shall not be drawn purposely to favor or discriminate against any political party or group.
- (6) The commission shall complete redistricting as soon as possible following the federal decennial census, but no later than January 1st of each year ending in two. At least three of the voting members shall approve such a redistricting plan. If three of the voting members of the commission fail to approve a plan within the time limitations provided in this subsection, the supreme court shall adopt a plan by April 30th of the year ending in two in conformance with the standards set forth in subsection (5) of this section.
- (7) The legislature may amend the redistricting plan but must do so by a two-thirds vote of the legislators elected or appointed to each house of the legislature. Any amendment must have passed both houses by the end of the thirtieth day of the first session convened after the commission has submitted its plan to the legislature. After that day, the plan, with any legislative amendments, constitutes the state districting law.
- (8) The legislature shall enact laws providing for the reconvening of a commission for the purpose of modifying a districting law adopted under this section. Such reconvening requires a two-thirds vote of the legislators elected or appointed to each house of the legislature. The commission shall conform to the standards prescribed under subsection (5) of this section and any other standards or procedures that the legislature may provide by law. At least three of the voting members shall approve such a modification. Any modification adopted by the commission may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the legislators elected and appointed to each house of the legislature. The state districting law shall include the modifications with amendments, if any.
- (9) The legislature shall prescribe by law the terms of commission members and the method of filling vacancies on the commission.
- (10) The supreme court has original jurisdiction to hear and decide all cases involving congressional and legislative redistricting.
- (11) Legislative and congressional districts may not be changed or established except pursuant to this section. A districting plan and any legislative amendments to the plan are not subject to Article III, section 12 of this Constitution.
Article III - The Executive
Section 1 - Executive Department
The executive department shall consist of a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, and a commissioner of public lands, who shall be severally chosen by the qualified electors of the state at the same time and place of voting as for the members of the legislature.
Section 2 - Governor, Term of Office
The supreme executive power of this state shall be vested in a governor, who shall hold his office for a term of four years, and until his successor is elected and qualified.
Section 3 - Other Executive Officers, Terms of Office
The lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, and commissioner of public lands, shall hold their offices for four years respectively, and until their successors are elected and qualified.
Section 4 - Returns of Elections, Canvass, Etc.
The returns of every election for the officers named in the first section of this article shall be sealed up and transmitted to the seat of government by the returning officers, directed to the secretary of state, who shall deliver the same to the speaker of the house of representatives at the first meeting of the house thereafter, who shall open, publish and declare the result thereof in the presence of a majority of the members of both houses. The person having the highest number of votes shall be declared duly elected, and a certificate thereof shall be given to such person, signed by the presiding officers of both houses; but if any two or more shall be highest and equal in votes for the same office, one of them shall be chosen by the joint vote of both houses. Contested elections for such officers shall be decided by the legislature in such manner as shall be determined by law. The terms of all officers named in section one of this article shall commence on the second Monday in January after their election until otherwise provided by law.
Section 5 - General Duties of Governor
The governor may require information in writing from the officers of the state upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.
Section 6 - Messages
He shall communicate at every session by message to the legislature the condition of the affairs of the state, and recommend such measures as he shall deem expedient for their action.
Section 7 - Extra Legislative Sessions
He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the legislature by proclamation, in which shall be stated the purposes for which the legislature is convened.
Section 8 - Commander-in-Chief
He shall be commander-in-chief of the military in the state except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.
Section 9 - Pardoning Power
The pardoning power shall be vested in the governor under such regulations and restrictions as may be prescribed by law.
Section 10 - Vacancy in Office of Governor
In case of the removal, resignation, death or disability of the governor, the duties of the office shall devolve upon the lieutenant governor; and in case of a vacancy in both the offices of governor and lieutenant governor, the duties of the governor shall devolve upon the secretary of state. In addition to the line of succession to the office and duties of governor as hereinabove indicated, if the necessity shall arise, in order to fill the vacancy in the office of governor, the following state officers shall succeed to the duties of governor and in the order named, viz.: Treasurer, auditor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction and commissioner of public lands. In case of the death, disability, failure or refusal of the person regularly elected to the office of governor to qualify at the time provided by law, the duties of the office shall devolve upon the person regularly elected to and qualified for the office of lieutenant governor, who shall act as governor until the disability be removed, or a governor be elected; and in case of the death, disability, failure or refusal of both the governor and the lieutenant governor elect to qualify, the duties of the governor shall devolve upon the secretary of state; and in addition to the line of succession to the office and duties of governor as hereinabove indicated, if there shall be the failure or refusal of any officer named above to qualify, and if the necessity shall arise by reason thereof, then in that event in order to fill the vacancy in the office of governor, the following state officers shall succeed to the duties of governor in the order named, viz: Treasurer, auditor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction and commissioner of public lands. Any person succeeding to the office of governor as in this section provided, shall perform the duties of such office only until the disability be removed, or a governor be elected and qualified; and if a vacancy occur more than thirty days before the next general election occurring within two years after the commencement of the term, a person shall be elected at such election to fill the office of governor for the remainder of the unexpired term.
Section 11 - Remission of Fines and Forfeitures
The governor shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, and shall report to the legislature at its next meeting each case of reprieve, commutation or pardon granted, and the reasons for granting the same, and also the names of all persons in whose favor remission of fines and forfeitures shall have been made, and the several amounts remitted and the reasons for the remission.
Section 12 - Veto Powers
Every act which shall have passed the legislature shall be, before it becomes a law, presented to the governor. If he approves, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to that house in which it shall have originated, which house shall enter the objections at large upon the journal and proceed to reconsider. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members present shall agree to pass the bill it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of the members present, it shall become a law; but in all such cases the vote of both houses shall be determined by the yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for or against the bill shall be entered upon the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor within five days, Sundays excepted, after it shall be presented to him, it shall become a law without his signature, unless the general adjournment shall prevent its return, in which case it shall become a law unless the governor, within twenty days next after the adjournment, Sundays excepted, shall file such bill with his objections thereto, in the office of secretary of state, who shall lay the same before the legislature at its next session in like manner as if it had been returned by the governor: Provided, That within forty-five days next after the adjournment, Sundays excepted, the legislature may, upon petition by a two-thirds majority or more of the membership of each house, reconvene in extraordinary session, not to exceed five days duration, solely to reconsider any bills vetoed. If any bill presented to the governor contain several sections or appropriation items, he may object to one or more sections or appropriation items while approving other portions of the bill: Provided, That he may not object to less than an entire section, except that if the section contain one or more appropriation items he may object to any such appropriation item or items. In case of objection he shall append to the bill, at the time of signing it, a statement of the section or sections, appropriation item or items to which he objects and the reasons therefor; and the section or sections, appropriation item or items so objected to shall not take effect unless passed over the governor's objection, as hereinbefore provided. The provisions of Article II, section 12 insofar as they are inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
Section 13 -Vacancy in Appointive Office
When, during a recess of the legislature, a vacancy shall happen in any office, the appointment to which is vested in the legislature, or when at any time a vacancy shall have occurred in any other state office, for the filling of which vacancy no provision is made elsewhere in this Constitution, the governor shall fill such vacancy by appointment, which shall expire when a successor shall have been elected and qualified.
Section 14 - Salary
The governor shall receive an annual salary of four thousand dollars, which may be increased by law, but shall never exceed six thousand dollars per annum.
Section 15 - Commissions, how issued
All commissions shall issue in the name of the state, shall be signed by the governor, sealed with the seal of the state, and attested by the secretary of state.
Section 16 - Lieutenant Governor, Duties and Salary
The lieutenant governor shall be presiding officer of the state senate, and shall discharge such other duties as may be prescribed by law. He shall receive an annual salary of one thousand dollars, which may be increased by the legislature, but shall never exceed three thousand dollars per annum.
Article IV - The Judiciary
Article V - Impeachment
Article VI - Elections and Elective Rights
Article VII - Revenue and Taxation
Article VIII - State, County and Municipal Indebtedness
Article IX - Education
Article X - Militia
Section 1 - Who liable to Military Duty
All able-bodied male citizens of this state between the ages of eighteen (18) and forty-five (45) years except such as are exempt by laws of the United States or by the laws of this state, shall be liable to military duty.
Section 2 - Organization, Discipline, Officers, Power to call out
The legislature shall provide by law for organizing and disciplining the militia in such manner as it may deem expedient, not incompatible with the Constitution and laws of the United States. Officers of the militia shall be elected or appointed in such manner as the legislature shall from time to time direct and shall be commissioned by the governor. The governor shall have power to call forth the militia to execute the laws of the state to suppress insurrections and repel invasions.
Section 3 - Soldiers' Home
The legislature shall provide by law for the maintenance of a soldiers' home for honorably discharged Union soldiers, sailors, marines and members of the state militia disabled while in the line of duty and who are bona fide citizens of the state.
Section 4 - Public Arms
The legislature shall provide by law, for the protection and safe keeping of the public arms.
Section 5 - Privilege from Arrest
The militia shall, in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at musters and elections of officers, and in going to and returning from the same.
Section 6 - Exemption from Military Duty
No person or persons, having conscientious scruples against bearing arms, shall be compelled to do militia duty in time of peace: Provided, such person or persons shall pay an equivalent for such exemption.
Article XI - County, City and Township Organization
Article XII - Corporations Other Than Municipal
Article XIII - State Institutions
Section 1 - Educational, Reformatory, and Penal Institutions
Educational, reformatory, and penal institutions; those for the benefit of youth who are blind or deaf or otherwise disabled; for persons who are mentally ill or developmentally disabled; and such other institutions as the public good may require, shall be fostered and supported by the state, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law. The regents, trustees, or commissioners of all such institutions existing at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, and of such as shall thereafter be established by law, shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate; and upon all nominations made by the governor, the question shall be taken by ayes and noes, and entered upon the journal.
Article XIV - Seat of Government
Article XV - Harbors and Tide Waters
Article XVI - School and Granted Lands
Article XVII - Tide Lands
Article XVIII - State Seal
Section 1 - Seal of the State
The seal of the State of Washington shall be, a seal encircled with the words: "The Seal of the State of Washington," with the vignette of General George Washington as the central figure, and beneath the vignette the figures "1889."
Article XIX - Exemptions
Section 1 - Exemptions -- homesteads, Etc.
The legislature shall protect by law from forced sale a certain portion of the homestead and other property of all heads of families.
Article XX - Public Health and Vital Statistics
Section 1 - Board of Health and Bureau of Vital Statistics
There shall be established by law a state board of health and a bureau of vital statistics in connection therewith, with such powers as the legislature may direct.
Section 2 - Regulations concerning medicine, Surgery and Pharmacy
The legislature shall enact laws to regulate the practice of medicine and surgery, and the sale of drugs and medicines.
Article XXI - Water and Water Rights
Section 1 - Public Use of Water
The use of the waters of this state for irrigation, mining and manufacturing purposes shall be deemed a public use.
Article XXII - Legislative Apportionment
Section 1 - Senatorial Apportionment
Until otherwise provided by law, the state shall be divided into twenty-four (24) senatorial districts, and said districts shall be constituted and numbered as follows: The counties of Stevens and Spokane shall constitute the first district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Spokane shall constitute the second district, and be entitled to three senators; the county of Lincoln shall constitute the third district, and be entitled to one senator; the counties of Okanogan, Lincoln, Adams and Franklin shall constitute the fourth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Whitman shall constitute the fifth district, and be entitled to three senators; the counties of Garfield and Asotin shall constitute the sixth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Columbia shall constitute the seventh district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Walla Walla shall constitute the eighth district, and be entitled to two senators; the counties of Yakima and Douglas shall constitute the ninth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Kittitas shall constitute the tenth district and be entitled to one senator; the counties of Klickitat, and Skamania shall constitute the eleventh district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Clarke shall constitute the twelfth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Cowlitz shall constitute the thirteenth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Lewis shall constitute the fourteenth district, and be entitled to one senator; the counties of Pacific and Wahkiakum shall constitute the fifteenth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Thurston shall constitute the sixteenth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Chehalis shall constitute the seventeenth district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Pierce shall constitute the eighteenth district, and be entitled to three senators; the county of King shall constitute the nineteenth district, and be entitled to five senators; the counties of Mason and Kitsap shall constitute the twentieth district, and be entitled to one senator; the counties of Jefferson, Clallam and San Juan shall constitute the twenty-first district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Snohomish shall constitute the twenty-second district, and shall be entitled to one senator; the counties of Skagit and Island shall constitute the twenty-third district, and be entitled to one senator; the county of Whatcom shall constitute the twenty-fourth district, and be entitled to one senator.
- Districts and apportionment: Chapter 44.07D RCW.
Section 2 - Apportionment of Representatives
Until otherwise provided by law the representatives shall be divided among the several counties of the state in the following manner; the county of Adams shall have one representative; the county of Asotin shall have one representative; the county of Chehalis shall have two representatives; the county of Clarke shall have three representatives; the county of Clallam shall have one representative; the county of Columbia shall have two representatives; the county of Cowlitz shall have one representative; the county of Douglas shall have one representative; the county of Franklin shall have one representative; the county of Garfield shall have one representative; the county of Island shall have one representative; the county of Jefferson shall have two representatives; the county of King shall have eight representatives; the county of Klickitat shall have two representatives; the county of Kittitas shall have two representatives; the county of Kitsap shall have one representative; the county of Lewis shall have two representatives; the county of Lincoln shall have two representatives; the county of Mason shall have one representative; the county of Okanogan shall have one representative; the county of Pacific shall have one representative; the county of Pierce shall have six representatives; the county of San Juan shall have one representative; the county of Skamania shall have one representative; the county of Snohomish shall have two representatives; the county of Skagit shall have two representatives; the county of Spokane shall have six representatives; the county of Stevens shall have one representative; the county of Thurston shall have two representatives; the county of Walla Walla shall have three representatives; the county of Wahkiakum shall have one representative; the county of Whatcom shall have two representatives; the county of Whitman shall have five representatives; the county of Yakima shall have one representative.
- Districts and apportionment: Chapter 44.07D RCW.
Article XXIII - Amendments
Section 1 - How Made
Any amendment or amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in either branch of the legislature; and if the same shall be agreed to by two-thirds of the members elected to each of the two houses, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals, with the ayes and noes thereon, and be submitted to the qualified electors of the state for their approval, at the next general election; and if the people approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, by a majority of the electors voting thereon, the same shall become part of this Constitution, and proclamation thereof shall be made by the governor: Provided, That if more than one amendment be submitted, they shall be submitted in such a manner that the people may vote for or against such amendments separately. The legislature shall also cause notice of the amendments that are to be submitted to the people to be published at least four times during the four weeks next preceding the election in every legal newspaper in the state: Provided, That failure of any newspaper to publish this notice shall not be interpreted as affecting the outcome of the election.
- [AMENDMENT 37, 1961 Senate Joint Resolution No. 25, p 2753. Approved November, 1962.]
- Original text -- Art. 23 Section 1 HOW MADE -- Any amendment or amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in either branch of the legislature; and if the same shall be agreed to by two-thirds of the members elected to each of the two houses, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals, with the ayes and noes thereon, and be submitted to the qualified electors of the state for their approval, at the next general election; and if the people approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, by a majority of the electors voting thereon, the same shall become part of this Constitution, and proclamation thereof shall be made by the governor: Provided, that if more than one amendment be submitted, they shall be submitted in such a manner that the people may vote for or against such amendments separately. The legislature shall also cause the amendments that are to be submitted to the people to be published for at least three months next preceding the election, in some weekly newspaper, in every county where a newspaper is published throughout the state.
Section 2 - Constitutional Conventions
Whenever two-thirds of the members elected to each branch of the legislature shall deem it necessary to call a convention to revise or amend this Constitution, they shall recommend to the electors to vote at the next general election, for or against a convention, and if a majority of all the electors voting at said election shall have voted for a convention, the legislature shall at the next session, provide by law for calling the same; and such convention shall consist of a number of members, not less than that of the most numerous branch of the legislature.
Section 3 - Submission to the People
Any Constitution adopted by such convention shall have no validity until it has been submitted to and adopted by the people.
Article XXIV - Boundaries
Section 1 - State Boundaries
The boundaries of the state of Washington shall be as follows: Beginning at a point in the Pacific ocean one marine league due west of and opposite the middle of the mouth of the north ship channel of the Columbia river thence running easterly to and up the middle channel of said river and where it is divided by islands up the middle of the widest channel thereof to where the forty-sixth parallel of north latitude crosses said river near the mouth of the Walla Walla river; thence east on said forty-sixth parallel of latitude to the middle of the main channel of Shoshone or Snake river, thence follow down the middle of the main channel of Snake river to a point opposite the mouth of the Kooskooskia or Clear Water river, thence due north to the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude, thence west along said forty-ninth parallel of north latitude to the middle of the channel which separates Vancouver's island from the continent, that is to say to a point in longitude 123 degrees, 19 minutes and 15 seconds west, thence following the boundary line between the United States and British possessions through the channel which separates Vancouver's island from the continent to the termination of the boundary line between the United States and British possessions at a point in the Pacific ocean equidistant between Bonnilla point on Vancouver's island and Tatoosh island light house, thence running in a southerly course and parallel with the coast line, keeping one marine league off shore to place of beginning; until such boundaries are modified by appropriate interstate compacts duly approved by the Congress of the United States.
Article XXV - Jurisdiction
Section 1 - Authority of the United States
The consent of the State of Washington is hereby given to the exercise, by the congress of the United States, of exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such tracts or parcels of land as are now held or reserved by the government of the United States for the purpose of erecting or maintaining thereon forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, lighthouses and other needful buildings, in accordance with the provisions of the seventeenth paragraph of the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution of the United States, so long as the same shall be so held and reserved by the United States. Provided: That a sufficient description by metes and bounds, and an accurate plat or map of each such tract or parcel of land be filed in the proper office of record in the county in which the same is situated, together with copies of the orders, deeds, patents or other evidences in writing of the title of the United States: and provided, That all civil process issued from the courts of this state and such criminal process as may issue under the authority of this state against any person charged with crime in cases arising outside of such reservations, may be served and executed thereon in the same mode and manner, and by the same officers, as if the consent herein given had not been made.
Article XXVI - Compact with the United States
The following ordinance shall be irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of this state:
First. That perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured and that no inhabitant of this state shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship.
Second. That the people inhabiting this state do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying with the boundaries of this state, and to all lands lying within said limits owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes; and that until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be and remain subject to the disposition of the United States, and said Indian lands shall remain under the absolute jurisdiction and control of the congress of the United States and that the lands belonging to citizens of the United States residing without the limits of this state shall never be taxed at a higher rate than the lands belonging to residents thereof; and that no taxes shall be imposed by the state on lands or property therein, belonging to or which may be hereafter purchased by the United States or reserved for use: Provided, That nothing in this ordinance shall preclude the state from taxing as other lands are taxed any lands owned or held by any Indian who has severed his tribal relations, and has obtained from the United States or from any person a title thereto by patent or other grant, save and except such lands as have been or may be granted to any Indian or Indians under any act of congress containing a provision exempting the lands thus granted from taxation, which exemption shall continue so long and to such an extent as such act of congress may prescribe.
Third. The debts and liabilities of the Territory of Washington and payment of the same are hereby assumed by this state.
Fourth. Provision shall be made for the establishment and maintenance of systems of public schools free from sectarian control which shall be open to all the children of said state.
Article XXVII - Schedule
In order that no inconvenience may arise by reason of a change from a Territorial to a State government, it is hereby declared and ordained as follows:
Section 1 - EXISTING RIGHTS, ACTIONS, AND CONTRACTS SAVED.
No existing rights, actions, suits, proceedings, contracts or claims shall be affected by a change in the form of government, but all shall continue as if no such change had taken place; and all process which may have been issued under the authority of the Territory of Washington previous to its admission into the Union shall be as valid as if issued in the name of the state.
Section 2 - LAWS IN FORCE CONTINUED.
All laws now in force in the Territory of Washington, which are not repugnant to this Constitution, shall remain in force until they expire by their own limitation, or are altered or repealed by the legislature: Provided, That this section shall not be so construed as to validate any act of the legislature of Washington Territory granting shore or tide lands to any person, company or any municipal or private corporation.
Section 3 - DEBTS, FINES, ETC., TO INURE TO THE STATE.
All debts, fines, penalties and forfeitures, which have accrued, or may hereafter accrue, to the Territory of Washington, shall inure to the State of Washington.
Section 4 - RECOGNIZANCES.
All recognizances heretofore taken, or which may be taken before the change from a territorial to a state government shall remain valid, and shall pass to, and may be prosecuted in the name of the state; and all bonds executed to the Territory of Washington or to any county or municipal corporation, or to any officer or court in his or its official capacity, shall pass to the state authorities and their successors in office, for the uses therein expressed, and may be sued for and recovered accordingly, and all the estate, real, personal and mixed, and all judgments decrees, bonds, specialties, choses in action, and claims or debts, of whatever description, belonging to the Territory of Washington, shall inure to and vest in the State of Washington, and may be sued for and recovered in the same manner, and to the same extent, by the State of Washington, as the same could have been by the Territory of Washington.
Section 5 - CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS AND PENAL ACTIONS.
All criminal prosecutions and penal actions which may have arisen, or which may arise, before the change from a territorial to a state government, and which shall then be pending, shall be prosecuted to judgment, and execution in the name of the state. All offenses committed against the laws of the Territory of Washington, before the change from a territorial to a state government, and which shall not be prosecuted before such change, may be prosecuted in the name and by the authority of the State of Washington, with like effect as though such change had not taken place; and all penalties incurred shall remain the same as if this Constitution had not been adopted. All actions at law and suits in equity which may be pending in any of the courts of the Territory of Washington, at the time of the change from a territorial to a state government, shall be continued, and transferred to the court of the state having jurisdiction of the subject matter thereof.
Section 6 - RETENTION OF TERRITORIAL OFFICERS.
All officers now holding their office under the authority of the United States, or of the Territory of Washington, shall continue to hold and exercise their respective offices until they shall be superseded by the authority of the state.
Section 7 - CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS, WHEN ELECTED.
All officers provided for in this Constitution including a county clerk for each county when no other time is fixed for their election, shall be elected at the election to be held for the adoption of this Constitution on the first Tuesday of October, 1889.
Section 8 - CHANGE OF COURTS - TRANSFER OF CAUSES.
Whenever the judge of the superior court of any county, elected or appointed under the provisions of this Constitution shall have qualified the several causes then pending in the district court of the territory except such causes as would have been within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States district court had such court existed at the time of the commencement of such causes, within such county, and the records, papers and proceedings of said district court, and the seal and other property pertaining thereto, shall pass into the jurisdiction and possession of the superior court for such county. And where the same judge is elected for two or more counties, it shall be the duty of the clerk of the district court having custody of such papers and records to transmit to the clerk of such county, or counties, other than that in which such records are kept the original papers in all cases pending in such district court and belonging to the jurisdiction of such county or counties together with transcript of so much of the records of said district court as relate to the same; and until the district courts of the Territory shall be superseded in manner aforesaid, the said district courts and the judges thereof, shall continue with the same jurisdiction and powers, to be exercised in the same judicial districts respectively, as heretofore constituted under the laws of the Territory. Whenever a quorum of the judges of the supreme court of the state shall have been elected and qualified, the causes then pending in the supreme court of the Territory, except such causes as would have been within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, circuit court had such court existed at the time of the commencement of such causes, and the papers, records and proceedings of said court and the seal and other property pertaining thereto, shall pass into the jurisdiction and possession of the supreme court of the state, and until so superseded, the supreme court of the Territory and the judges thereof, shall continue with like powers and jurisdiction as if this Constitution had not been adopted.
Section 9 - SEALS OF COURTS AND MUNICIPALITIES.
Until otherwise provided by law, the seal now in use in the supreme court of the Territory shall be the seal of the supreme court of the state. The seals of the superior courts of the several counties of the state shall be, until otherwise provided by law, the vignette of General George Washington with the words: "Seal of the Superior Court of --------- county" surrounding the vignette. The seal of municipalities, and of all county officers of the Territory, shall be the seals of such municipalities, and county officers respectively under the state, until otherwise provided by law.
Section 10 - PROBATE COURT, TRANSFER OF.
When the state is admitted into the Union, and the superior courts in the respective counties organized, the books, records, papers and proceedings of the probate court in each county, and all causes and matters of administration pending therein, shall, upon the expiration of the term of office of the probate judges, on the second Monday in January, 1891, pass into the jurisdiction and possession of the superior court of the same county created by this Constitution, and the said court shall proceed to final judgment or decree, order or other determination in the several matters and causes, as the territorial probate court might have done, if this Constitution had not been adopted. And until the expiration of the term of office of the probate judges, such probate judges shall perform the duties now imposed upon them by the laws of the Territory. The superior courts shall have appellate and revisory jurisdiction over the decisions of the probate courts, as now provided by law, until such latter courts expire by limitation.
Section 11 DUTIES OF FIRST LEGISLATURE.
The legislature, at its first session, shall provide for the election of all officers whose election is not provided for elsewhere in this Constitution, and fix the time for the commencement and duration of their term.
SECTION 12 ELECTION CONTESTS FOR SUPERIOR JUDGES, HOW DECIDED.
In case of a contest of election between candidates, at the first general election under this Constitution, for judges of the superior courts, the evidence shall be taken in the manner prescribed by the Territorial laws, and the testimony so taken shall be certified to the secretary of state; and said officer, together with the governor and treasurer of state, shall review the evidence and determine who is entitled to the certificate of election.
SECTION 13 REPRESENTATION IN CONGRESS.
[Repealed by AMENDMENT 74, 1983 Substitute Senate Joint Resolution No. 103. Approved November 8, 1983.]
<smallOriginal text -- Art. 27 Section 13 REPRESENTATION IN CONGRESS -- One representative in the congress of the United States shall be elected from the state at large, at the first election provided for in this Constitution; and, thereafter, at such times and places, and in such manner, as may be prescribed by law. When a new apportionment shall be made by congress, the legislature shall divide the state into congressional districts, in accordance with such apportionment. The vote cast for representative in congress, at the first election, shall be canvassed, and the result determined in the manner provided for by the laws of the Territory for the canvass of the vote for delegate in congress.
SECTION 14 DURATION OF TERM OF CERTAIN OFFICERS.
All district, county and precinct officers, who may be in office at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, and the county clerk of each county elected at the first election, shall hold their respective offices until the second Monday of January, A. D., 1891, and until such time as their successors may be elected and qualified, in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution; and the official bonds of all such officers shall continue in full force and effect as though this Constitution had not been adopted. And such officers shall continue to receive the compensation now provided, until the same be changed by law.
SECTION 15 ELECTION ON ADOPTION OF CONSTITUTION, HOW TO BE CONDUCTED.
The election held at the time of the adoption of this Constitution shall be held and conducted in all respects according to the laws of the Territory, and the votes cast at said election for all officers (where no other provisions are made in this Constitution), and for the adoption of this Constitution and the several separate articles and the location of the state capital, shall be canvassed and returned in the several counties in the manner provided by Territorial law, and shall be returned to the secretary of the Territory in the manner provided by the Enabling Act.
SECTION 16 WHEN CONSTITUTION TO TAKE EFFECT.
The provisions of this Constitution shall be in force from the day on which the president of the United States shall issue his proclamation declaring the State of Washington admitted into the Union, and the terms of all officers elected at the first election under the provisions of this Constitution shall commence on the Monday next succeeding the issue of said proclamation, unless otherwise provided herein.
Section 17 - Separate articles
The following separate articles shall be submitted to the people for adoption or rejection at the election for the adoption of this Constitution:
SEPARATE ARTICLE, NO. 1 "All persons male and female of the age of twenty-one years or over, possessing the other qualifications, provided by this Constitution, shall be entitled to vote at all elections."
SEPARATE ARTICLE, NO. 2 "It shall not be lawful for any individual, company or corporation, within the limits of this state, to manufacture, or cause to be manufactured, or to sell, or offer for sale, or in any manner dispose of any alcoholic, malt or spirituous liquors, except for medicinal, sacramental or scientific purposes."
If a majority of the ballots cast at said election on said separate articles be in favor of the adoption of either of said separate articles, then such separate article so receiving a majority shall become a part of this Constitution and shall govern and control any provision of the Constitution in conflict therewith.
Section 18 - Ballot
The form of ballot to be used in voting for or against this Constitution, or for or against the separate articles, or for the permanent location of the seat of government, shall be:
1. For the Constitution - - - - - - - - - - - - Against the Constitution - - - - - - - - - - - - 2. For Woman Suffrage Article - - - - - - - - - - - - Against Woman Suffrage Article - - - - - - - - - - - - 3. For Prohibition Article - - - - - - - - - - - - Against Prohibition Article - - - - - - - - - - - - 4. For the Permanent Location of the Seat of Government (Name of place voted for) - - - - - - - - - - - -
The result of the election was against both woman suffrage and prohibition.
Section 19 - Appropriation
The legislature is hereby authorized to appropriate from the state treasury sufficient money to pay any of the expenses of this convention not provided for by the Enabling Act of Congress.
Article XXVIII - Compensation of State Officers
Section 1 - Salaries for Legislature, Elected State Officials, and Judges -- Independent Commission -- Referendum
Salaries for members of the legislature, elected officials of the executive branch of state government, and judges of the state's supreme court, court of appeals, superior courts, and district courts shall be fixed by an independent commission created and directed by law to that purpose. No state official, public employee, or person required by law to register with a state agency as a lobbyist, or immediate family member of the official, employee, or lobbyist, may be a member of that commission. As used in this section the phrase "immediate family" has the meaning that is defined by law. Any change of salary shall be filed with the secretary of state and shall become law ninety days thereafter without action of the legislature or governor, but shall be subject to referendum petition by the people, filed within the ninety-day period. Referendum measures under this section shall be submitted to the people at the next following general election, and shall be otherwise governed by the provisions of this Constitution generally applicable to referendum measures. The salaries fixed pursuant to this section shall supersede any other provision for the salaries of members of the legislature, elected officials of the executive branch of state government, and judges of the state's supreme court, court of appeals, superior courts, and district courts. The salaries for such officials in effect on January 12, 1987, shall remain in effect until changed pursuant to this section. After the initial adoption of a law by the legislature creating the independent commission, no amendment to such act which alters the composition of the commission shall be valid unless the amendment is enacted by a favorable vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the legislature and is subject to referendum petition. The provisions of section 14 of Article IV, sections 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, and 22 of Article III, and section 23 of Article II, insofar as they are inconsistent herewith, are hereby superseded. The provisions of section 1 of Article II relating to referendum procedures, insofar as they are inconsistent herewith, are hereby superseded with regard to the salaries governed by this section.
Article XXIX - Investments of Public Pension and Retirement Funds
Section 1 - May be Invested as Authorized by Law
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 5, and 7 of Article VIII and section 9 of Article XII or any other section or article of the Constitution of the state of Washington, the moneys of any public pension or retirement fund, industrial insurance trust fund, or fund held in trust for the benefit of persons with developmental disabilities may be invested as authorized by law.
Article XXX - Compensation of Public Officers
Section 1 - Compensation of Public Officers
The compensation of all elective and appointive state, county, and municipal officers who do not fix their own compensation, including judges of courts of record and the justice courts may be increased during their terms of office to the end that such officers and judges shall each severally receive compensation for their services in accordance with the law in effect at the time the services are being rendered. The provisions of section 25 of Article II (Amendment 35), section 25 of Article III (Amendment 31), section 13 of Article IV, section 8 of Article XI, and section 1 of Article XXVIII (Amendment 20) insofar as they are inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
Article XXXI - Sex Equality, Rights and Responsibilities
Section 1 - Equality not Denied Because of Sex
Equality of rights and responsibility under the law shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex.
Section 2 - Enforcement Power of Legislature
The legislature shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Article XXXII - Special Revenue Financing
Section 1 - Special Revenue Financing
The legislature may enact laws authorizing the state, counties, cities, towns, port districts, or public corporations established thereby to issue nonrecourse revenue bonds or other nonrecourse revenue obligations and to apply the proceeds thereof in the manner and for the purposes heretofore or hereafter authorized by law, subject to the following limitations:
- (a) Nonrecourse revenue bonds and other nonrecourse revenue obligations issued pursuant to this section shall be payable only from money or other property received as a result of projects financed by the nonrecourse revenue bonds or other nonrecourse revenue obligations and from money and other property received from private sources.
- (b) Nonrecourse revenue bonds and other nonrecourse revenue obligations issued pursuant to this section shall not be payable from or secured by any tax funds or governmental revenue or by all or part of the faith and credit of the state or any unit of local government.
- (c) Nonrecourse revenue bonds or other nonrecourse revenue obligations issued pursuant to this section may be issued only if the issuer certifies that it reasonably believes that the interest paid on the bonds or obligations will be exempt from income taxation by the federal government.
- (d) Nonrecourse revenue bonds or other nonrecourse revenue obligations may only be used to finance industrial development projects as defined in legislation.
- (e) The state, counties, cities, towns, port districts, or public corporations established thereby, shall never exercise their respective attributes of sovereignty, including but not limited to, the power to tax, the power of eminent domain, and the police power on behalf of any industrial development project authorized pursuant to this section.
After the initial adoption of a law by the legislature authorizing the issuance of nonrecourse revenue bonds or other nonrecourse revenue obligations, no amendment to such act which expands the definition of industrial development project shall be valid unless the amendment is enacted by a favorable vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each house of the legislature and is subject to referendum petition. Sections 5 and 7 of Article VIII and section 9 of Article XII shall not be construed as a limitation upon the authority granted by this section. The proceeds of revenue bonds and other revenue obligations issued pursuant to this section for the purpose of financing privately owned property or loans to private persons or corporations shall be subject to audit by the state but shall not otherwise be deemed to be public money or public property for purposes of this Constitution. This section is supplemental to and shall not be construed as a repeal of or limitation on any other authority lawfully exercisable under the Constitution and laws of this state, including, among others, any existing authority to issue revenue bonds.