No signatures submitted for Washington Initiatives to the Legislature by Dec. 30 deadline

The deadline to submit signatures for Initiatives to the Legislature in Washington (ITL) was Dec. 30, 2022. Initiatives to the Legislature is the name of indirect ballot initiatives in Washington. The Washington Secretary of State’s office confirmed to Ballotpedia on January 3 that signatures were not submitted for any of the 179 filed initiatives. If proponents of any of the initiatives had submitted 324,516 valid signatures by Dec. 30, those initiatives would have been sent to the Washington State Legislature during its 2023 session, set to begin on Jan. 9.

The legislature would have then taken one of three actions:

  1. The legislature can adopt the initiative as proposed, in which case it becomes law without a vote of the people.
  2. The legislature can reject or refuse to act on the proposed initiative, in which case the initiative must be placed on the ballot at the next state general election.
  3. The legislature can approve an alternative to the proposed initiative, in which case both the original proposal and the legislature’s alternative must be placed on the ballot at the next state general election.

The last ITL to appear on the ballot was Initiative 976 sponsored by Tim Eyman to limit car tab renewal fees to $30 in 2019. During the 20-year period from 1999 to 2019, 12 Initiatives to the Legislature were on the ballot, of which, six were approved and six were defeated.

The first day to file Initiatives to the People (ITP) in Washington is Jan. 9. For Initiatives to the People—which are direct initiatives in Washington—a total of 324,516 valid signatures are required to qualify for the ballot. The last day to submit signatures for ITPs is July 7, 2023. As of Jan. 4, 2023, no Initiatives to the People had been filed. ITPs do not have to go before the legislature, and if enough valid signatures are submitted, ITPs are placed on the next general election ballot for a vote of the people.

The last time an ITP was on the ballot was in 2018 when voters decided on three initiatives concerning a carbon fee, firearm restrictions, and taxes on groceries. From 1999 to 2018, 49 Initiatives to the People were on the ballot, of which, 32 were approved and 17 were defeated.

A total of 61 measures appeared on statewide ballots in Washington during odd years between 1999 and 2021. Thirty-four measures (56%) were approved, and 27 measures (44%) were defeated.

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