WA Constitutional Amendment on Ballot for Continuity of Government

An amendment to the Washington State constitution will be on the ballot this November to expand government powers in the case of catastrophic incidents. Voters will have the opportunity to either approve or reject the proposed amendment. The measure was passed because of concerns with the effects of a Cascadian Subduction Zone (CSZ) large earthquake and the ability of the government to legally respond. The text of the amendment is as follows, modifying Section 42, Article II (Underlined text is added in the amendment. Strikethrough text is deleted.):

The legislature, in order to insure continuity of state and local governmental operations in periods of emergency resulting from a catastrophic incident or 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)) the emergency, 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 a catastrophic incident or 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.

From the Spokesman-Review:

Washington voters worried about “The Big One” – a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered by a geologic fault off the Pacific Coast – might have a special reason to mark their ballot in the November election.

A constitutional amendment was proposed with just such a catastrophe in mind. But opponents say the powers the amendment would give the Legislature are too broad, and the definition of a catastrophic incident that could allow such changes is too vague.

Senate Joint Resolution 8200 sailed through the Legislature as a 21st-century update to a constitutional amendment enacted during the Cold War.

As currently written, that section of the constitution provides for “continuity of governmental operations in periods of emergency resulting from enemy attack.” If a simple majority of voters approve Resolution 8200 on Nov. 5, the section will be broadened so that continuity is ensured not only in case of attack but also in case of “catastrophic incidents.”

Under the existing law, which voters approved in 1962, the Legislature would have the power to move the state capital or a county seat, make changes to the requirements to elect or appoint legislators, pass bills and fill vacancies in state or county offices in the aftermath of an attack. The Legislature could also fill an open governor’s seat if all people in the line of succession set out in the state constitution are unavailable.

In the 2019 session, legislators were more worried about shaking earth and crushing waves than falling bombs, prompting them to add the “catastrophic incidents” clause.

“The catastrophic incident we anticipate will be the big earthquake that will do such damage that we will need to have procedures in place to have government continue operating,” Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, said in introducing the bill to the House last April.

“It’s about The Big One, the earthquake,” Rep. Bill Jenkin, R-Prosser, said. “We know this will be the next disaster.”

The Cascadia Subduction Zone, a major geologic fault line off the Pacific Coast that stretches from Vancouver Island to northern California, has the potential for creating a massive earthquake that could decimate Western Washington and generate a tsunami that would inundate coastal communities.

The quakes occur on an average of 300 to 500 years, with the last one recorded in 1700. The Washington National Guard and the state Emergency Management Division have already mapped out and practiced for responding to a massive quake.

But the amendment doesn’t limit the expanded powers of the Legislature to a quake-induced disaster, nor does it define “catastrophic incident” or how extensive it would have to be, opponents say.

“You would have to trust government to make these decisions with or without your input,” warns the argument against the amendment, co-authored by Rep. Bob McCaslin, R-Spokane Valley. “We should demand a better proposal with clear definitions.”

State statutes do define “catastrophic incident.” It can cover any natural or human-caused event– including terrorism and an enemy attack – with mass casualties, high levels of damage or disruption.

At the same time the Legislature passed the proposed amendment, it also approved a bill that clarifies a governor’s power to suspend certain laws and regulations in a declared emergency for as long 30 days – or more if the Legislature is in session and agrees. If the Legislature is out of session, its leaders can extend that time limit until lawmakers return to session.

Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, argued that was still too broad, and with the potential for problems.

“It could be used by an unscrupulous governor – not saying that we have one,” Hasegawa said. “We have to be careful.”

 

Gov. Candidate Loren Culp Speaks in Richland on Sept. 28, 2019

EVENT: Public Meeting
WHEN: Saturday, September 28th, 2019
TIME: Starting at 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Island View Worship Center
LOCATION: 1520 Fowler St, Richland, Washington
Loren Culp, who is running for governor in 2020, will be in speaking on September 28th.
Clint Didier will also be in attendance with Loren.

Click here to download a pdf flyer for the event.

Loren Culp has been married to his high school sweetheart Barbara for 41 years. He is the father of two and grandfather of seven. Loren is a lifelong resident of Washington State. He attended school in Chimacum (Jefferson County) and Republic (Ferry County).

He is a U.S. Army Veteran, a member of the American Legion and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). He is currently the Police Chief of Republic, WA and the author of the #1 best selling book “American Cop”.

America needs warriors now more than ever and Loren Culp is a shining example of how our Founding Fathers hoped all Americans would be.”
~ Ted Nugent

Washington Strikes Back Event, Feb. 19, 2019 -Yakima

From the Washington Strikes Back Facebook page:

Do you believe in the constitutional right to keep and bear arms? Do you stand with Yakima County Sheriff Bob Udell’s position that I-1639 is unconstitutional? Do you believe that WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s endorsement and support of I-1639 was wrong, a violation of his oath, a violation of the US and WA Constitution(s), and that he overstepped the authority of his office?

If you wish to take action, join fellow patriotic Washington citizens, Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 6:30 pm, for our concerned citizens’ event. (Yakima Convention Center)

MAKE a stand and hear how you can make a difference.

LEARN how you can stand with our constitutions.

HOLD AG Ferguson accountable.

Free admission. Coffee and water provided.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM PST

Yakima Convention Center

10 N 8th St, Yakima, Washington 98901

WA Gun Owners Action League Update, Mar. 9th, 2018

From the Washington Gun Owners Action League:

Legislative Update from Olympia 9 March 2018

SINE DIE

48 GUN BILLS FILED IN 2017-2018 BIENNIUM

GOV SIGNS BUMP STOCK BAN

2519, 5553 AND 6298 TO GOV

PHOTOS ON CPLS?

MISSED ONE – AMMO BAN

WHY ONLY FOUR BILLS PASSED

INITIATIVE

LAST GOAL POST OF 2018 — HOPEFULLY

It’s over!The fat lady has done her part and has waddled off the stage,
and our legislators are packing up and heading home from Olympia.At this
point there is no talk of the need for a special session, unlike the
three special sessions we had last year..

The 2017-2018 biennium set a record for the number of gun related bills
filed: 48, 25 anti-, 20 pro- and three neutral.But as foretold in the
Book of Matthew, “Many are called but few are chosen.”Only four of the
48 managed to make it to the governor’s desk:None of the pro-gun bills
made the cut in the Democrat-dominated legislature, surprise,
surprise.HB 2519 and SBs 5553, 5992 and 6248 were the chosen few.SB
6620, the last minute “assault weapon” bill, failed to get a vote on the
last day of the session (given the time allowed, it was unlikely to pass
the House anyway).

On Tuesday, 7 March, Governor Inslee signed SB 5992, the “bump stock”
ban.In its final version, it only applied specifically to bump stocks
and not to other “trigger devices,” and allows for a one-year buy-back
period to be set up by the Washington State Patrol.Your reward for
complying with the law is $150.(As far as I can tell, nothing prevents
you from shipping or selling them out of state, as long as the
transaction occurs out-of-state).

HB 2519and SBs 5553 and 6298 sit on the governor’s desk awaiting his
action.He has three options: sign the bill(s) as is, section veto
portions he doesn’t like allowing the remainder to become law, or let it
sit without his signature, at which point it will become law.Unlike the
president, Washington has no provision for a “pocket veto” (no
signature) to kill a bill.I expect the governor to sign all three bills,
as he did SB 5992.

As I reported earlier, HB 2519 was amended in the House to allow issue
of CPLs to current and former military members aged 18-20.That amendment
was pulled by the Senate Law & Justice committee.The conference
committee also amended the final version of the bill added language that
allows the issuing authority to require a photograph be submitted with
the application, and that photograph to be embossed on the license.This
was discussed by the Department of Licensing more than ten years ago but
never implemented.It is solely up to the issuing authority to require
it.Some states have photo CPLs, other do not.

It appears in my rush to head for Las Vegas in January for the annual
Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trades show, I missed an anti-gun bill
filed.HB 2805 (Rep. Pollet, D-46) would ban the sale of exposed lead
projectile ammunition to those 18-20 years old.Concerns about lead
poisoning among the young, according to the bill language.Maybe Chicago
should consider such a bill.

Given the fact that for the first time in several years Democrats
control both the House and Senate as well as the governor’s mansion, why
so few anti-gun bills passed?One or two pro-gun Democrats in each
chamber helped us, and 2018 is mid-term election year.Had they passed a
slew of anti-gun bills, they likely would have lost perhaps several
rural-area legislative seats in November.Expect them to come back in
January, 2019 with blood in their eyes for gun owners.

By failing to address the “assault weapon” issue, it opens the door for
an initiative later this year that is likely to go well beyond simple
registration and/or age limits.And as we’ve been hearing from Florida
over the past week, where the Republican-majority legislature just
raised the age to buy long guns to 21 AND imposed a three-day waiting
period because of the Parkland school shooting, there are far too many
gun owners out there who don’t like “black rifles.”Or as we call them,
Elmer Fudds, “As long as they don’t come after my wabbit gun, I don’t
care what they do about other guns.”

Continue reading “WA Gun Owners Action League Update, Mar. 9th, 2018”

Inslee Vows to Fight Offshore Oil Drilling

From Washington State Wire, Inslee vows to create hostile environment for potential oil drilling businesses:

…At the beginning of January, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced a five-year plan to expand offshore oil and gas drilling in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans. The plan would open over 90 percent of the outer continental shelf (OCS) to leasing, which surrounds all coastal areas of the continental United States and Alaska.

During a press conference on Monday, AG Ferguson announced that if the Trump Administration moves forward with this plan to drill off Washington’s coast, he will file a lawsuit…

The primary rationale for a lawsuit relates to Zinke’s decision to remove Florida from the list of states that are under consideration for new oil and gas drilling. In a lengthy letter released today, Ferguson says that every reason given to exclude Florida also applies to Washington…

Governor Inslee agreed, pointing to Florida’s Republican governor as the only difference between the two states that both rely on healthy coasts to fuel their economies.

“the only thing [Florida and Washington] have differently is they have a Republican governor, who is running for the US Senate, who has a friend in the white house of his party, and who had a phone call made and got his state protected. Our state has had a phone call made and we’re still not protected.”

Click here to continue reading.

All tourism and recreation of any sort in Washington State’s coastal counties amounted to $3.4 billion (of a $425 billion state GDP, or less than 1%) in 2014.  In Florida, the economic impact of beach tourism alone accounted for $50 billion (of a $764 billion GDP, or 6.5%) in 2012. But the “only difference,” according to Inslee, between the two states is Florida’s Republican governor. Regardless of how one feels about offshore oil drilling, Inslee’s assertion is a bit hard to swallow.