Legislature passes Initiative 1000 regarding affirmative action


In a surprise and last-minute move, the Legislature passed Initiative 1000 which would once again allow affirmative action programs in Washington State. 

I-1000 had previously gathered the pertinent number of signatures and would have appeared on the November ballot even if the Legislature had not acted.

Click here to read Initiative 1000. I-1000 does not necessarily repeal Initiative 200, a measure approved by Washington voters 20 years ago. I-200 blocked the government from giving preferential treatment to, or discriminating against, people and groups on the basis of sex, ethnicity, color, race or national origin.  However, I-1000 allows for affirmative action for increased employment opportunities for racial minorities, women and other groups – but it does not specifically call for preferential treatment.

AGC will provide more analysis of the initiative, including its potential impact on public contracting, soon.

Meanwhile, a referendum has already been filed to overturn Initiative 1000. Backers of the repeal effort will have until July 27 to collect 129,811 signatures to qualify for the November 2019 ballot. If they succeed, the implementation of I-1000 would be delayed pending the outcome of the November election. 

The proposed referendum measure was filed by Kan Qiu of Bellevue, a former Microsoft engineer and first-generation Chinese American, who is a member of the group Washington Asians for Equality.
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For more information, contact AGC Chief Lobbyist Jerry VanderWood, 360.352.5000.