On February 25, the Washington State Court of Appeals ruled that local initiatives that are only advisory are not permitted in the state. See the decision here in City of Monroe v Seeds of Liberty, 68473-6. An initiative petition had attempted to obtain a public vote on red-light traffic cameras in the city. The city has such cameras and the initiative proponents wanted to eliminate them.
The Appeals Court said that the legislature had not authorized cities themselves to determine whether to use red-light-cameras; the legislature had only authorized city councils to make that decision. Initiative backers said they still wanted their measure on the ballot as an advisory, non-binding measurement of public opinion, but the Court said the entire subject is off-limits for initiatives, whether binding or advisory.
An initiative, I-517, recently qualified for the statewide ballot in Washington state. It says that local and state initiatives that have enough valid signatures must be placed on the ballot, regardless of their subject matter. Under I-517, if an initiative passes and it is believed that the initiative is unconstitutional or unlawful, that must be adjudicated after the initiative passes, not before the election is held. Washington state voters will vote on I-517 in November 2013.