Today, King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer ruled that Seattle Charter Amendment 29 (“CA 29”), which proposed to establish city policy on homelessness through a vote by Seattle residents, violated state law limiting the permissible scope of local ballot initiatives in many ways and therefore should not appear on the November 2021 ballot.
A lawsuit filed today on behalf of the ACLU of Washington, the Transit Riders Union and the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness claims that a proposed amendment to the Charter of the City of Seattle is an illegal use of a local ballot initiative and violates state laws that mandate how local governments make and carry out plans for addressing homelessness. The lawsuit argues that the proposed Charter Amendment 29 goes beyond the scope of Seattle’s initiative powers.
As Seattle prepares to head into budget deliberations for the City’s 2022 budget, it is important for decision makers to understand that the Seattle Consent Decree does not stand in the way of making changes to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) budget.
Some law enforcement agencies in Washington are dangerously misinterpreting the new law. They claim that newly-enacted HB 1310 means they can no longer respond to or assist people experiencing a behavioral health crisis.