The Seattle University Law Review's Symposium on the initiative process in Washington State addresses an issue of both transcendent importance to the health of the Republic and immediate challenge to the welfare of the children of this state. This discussion could not be more timely, and not just locally. Here's why. Devolution, tax cuts for the rich and the super rich, welfare reform, and a more conservative, market-oriented philosophy of government lay on the states and low income parents and children the burden of meeting the most critical needs of children-from prenatal care through college. With twenty percent of our children living in poverty and that many or more living in dysfunctional families, or in no families at all, the situation has reached crisis proportions. Enter the initiative. All along the West Coast, ill advised and ill intentioned initiatives have produced a severe crisis, albeit one obscure to many citizens. Initiatives have effectively, and in my view unconstitutionally, taken the appropriation and revenue raising responsibilities away from the legislature and passed them not to the people, as initiative supporters argue, but to special interest groups.
Brewster C. Denny, Initiatives—Enemy of the Republic, 24 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 1025 (2001).