WA Legal Roundup - Div I: Eyeman's Traffic Cam Initiative Off the Ballot
The RCWs gave Bellingham authority to put up traffic cameras.
The reason I think the initiative process should be modified or repealed Eyeman sought to hinder that authority. While I generally am not a fan of the cameras, the law on local initiatives is pretty clear when authority comes from state statute:
"An initiative is beyond the scope of the initiative power if the initiative involves powers granted by the legislature to the governing body of a city, rather than the city itself." Malkasian, 157 Wn.2d at 261. Where the legislature enacts a general law that grants such authority to the legislative body of a city, the exercise of that authority by the legislative body is not "subject to repeal, amendment or modification by the people through the initiative or referendum procedure." State ex rel. Guthrie v. City of Richland, 80 Wn.2d 382, 384, 494 P.2d 990 (1972); see also Priorities First v. City of Spokane, 93 Wn. App. 406, 410, 968 P.2d 431 (1998) (people cannot deprive the city legislative authority of power to do what a state statute specifically permits it to do). In determining whether the legislature granted authority to the local legislative body, we look primarily to the language of the relevant statute. See Malkasian, 157 Wn.2d at 262-63.