Northwest NEWS

February 22, 1999

Local News

Bill would establish rules for forming new counties

   Rep. Kathy Lambert (R-Woodinville) has introduced a bill that would establish procedures for forming new counties in Washington state.

   House Bill 1676 would create the procedures for forming a new county in Washington and provide for the apportionment of assets, debts, and liabilities between the new county and the parent county. Lambert said the bill became necessary after the state Supreme Court determined that no procedures for forming counties exist under current law. Meanwhile, there are two separate movements to create new counties in the Puget Sound area.

   "Part of the dispute centers around whether the parent county must give its consent before a new county can be formed. For all intents and purposes, that would prohibit new counties from being formed, because no existing county would agree to be divided up," Lambert said. "The procedures I've set forth in this bill are similar to what was proposed at the 1889 constitutional convention. That foundation reassures me that we're on the right track."