Rep. Jim Walsh reacts to court ruling lawmakers violated state constitution when amending police deadly force measure

A recent ruling by a Thurston County judge found the Legislature's attempt to amend an initiative that would put new rules on police use of force violates the state's constitution.

While the amendment to the initiative, House Bill 3003, had strong bipartisan support, several Republicans in the House objected to the process in which it was passed, including Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen.

Walsh had this to say about the court's ruling:

“The trial court made the right decision in this case. The legislative gimmick of passing an amendment first and then the thing it amended second is clearly unconstitutional. That's why I voted 'no' on both pieces – House Bill 3003 and I-940. When this came up for a vote on the House floor, I predicted this sorry result.

“Olympia has to stop forcing these clever gimmicks on the people of Washington. This ill-fated package, the recent raid on the state's rainy day fund, the ill-fated Public Records Act exemption – all of these legislative disasters share common traits: too much lawyerly game-playing, weak command of actual underlying policy issues and contempt for voters and taxpayers. This isn't good for anyone.

“The Legislature could have done something, and done it constitutionally, to fix the many broken parts of I-940. Instead, we wasted a bunch of time and punted the hard decision to the voters.”


Washington State House Republican Communications