[10/7/19] Continuity Amendment Left Up to Voters
An update to a constitutional amendment enacted during the Cold War is before Washington voters this year. If a simple majority of voters approve Resolution 8200 on Nov. 5, the section on “continuity of governmental operations in periods of emergency” will be broadened so that continuity is ensured not only in case of attack but also in case of “catastrophic incidents” like a massive earthquake. Under the existing law, approved by voters 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. It would also be able to pass bills and fill vacancies in state or county offices in the aftermath of an attack, and could fill an open governor’s seat if all people in the line of succession set out in the state constitution are unavailable. The measure passed the Democratic-controlled Legislature earlier this year with strong bipartisan support: 37-11 in the Senate and 91-7 in the House.