Washington Law Review


The legislative process in Washington, as in almost all other states, is not exclusively a function of the Legislature, but rather it is a function which the Legislature shares with the Governor who is vested with the power to veto bills. Unlike the activity of the Legislature, the role played by the Governor is not highly visible and is not often the subject of attention. Yet, this relative obscurity is not indicative of the influence that the Governor exercises in the legislative process. Through his use of the partial veto power, authorized under Article III, Section 12, of the Washington Constitution and liberally construed by the Washington court, the Governor has assumed a major role in the legislative process. This brief article will describe the legal basis and extent of this role and discuss the need for its clarification and limitation; a constitutional amendment will be proposed to satisfy this need.

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