Voter Initiative Law
The Washington State Constitution includes the right of the people to directly
enact legislation through the initiative process. The Washington Constitution
also requires that an initiative contain a single subject, which must
be expressed in the title.
Our firm has argued before the Washington Supreme Court two of the most
important single subject/subject in title voter initiative cases. We successfully
challenged Initiative 695 in
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 v. State, 142 Wn.2d 183, 11 P.3d 762 (2000), and prevented massive funding cuts
to mass transit and other governmental programs. In
Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention v. State, 174 Wn.2d 642, 278 P.3d 632 (2012), we fell one vote short of invalidating
the Costco liquor privatization initiative because it failed to inform
voters of hidden tax hikes.
Frank Freed Subit & Thomas has been retained for its expertise in several
other voter initiative cases. Our clients are usually labor unions and
other non-profit organizations, but we have also represented small business
Community Care Coalition v. Reed, 165 Wn.2d 606, 200 P.2d 701 (2009), we successfully defended in the Washington
Supreme Court the placement of Initiative 1029 on the November 2009 ballot.
The voters passed the measure thus improving long-term care for the elderly
and people with disabilities.
Our firm is very proud of its work to protect both the availability and
the integrity of the initiative process in Washington.