What is a Green Amendment?
Green Amendments are self executing provisions added to the bill of rights section of a constitution that recognize and protect the rights of all people. regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or income, including future generations, to pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and healthy environments.
What’s Happening in Washington?
Green Amendments For The Generations has been working closely with the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL). GAFTG Founder Maya van Rossum presented at NCEL’s 2019 annual conference to over 150 legislators, educating them on the value and power of a Green Amendment. This presentation inspired Representative Debra Lekanoff (40th LD) to consider such a provision for the people of Washington and begin working with GAFTG in close partnership to launch a WA Green Amendment Movement.
On February 9, 2021 Representative Lekanoff first introduced an amendment to the state constitution, enshrining the rights of all Washingtonians to clean water and air, a stable climate and healthy environment. The proposed amendment received a well attended hearing in the House Environment & Energy Committee.
The Green Amendment has been re-proposed in 2022 with the modified in meaningful ways based on the 2021 hearing input. Representative Debra Lekanoff in the House and Senator Mona Das in the Senate are the lead sponsors of the amendment proposal.
The proposed Washington Green Amendment reads as follows:
BE IT RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, IN LEGISLATIVE SESSION ASSEMBLED:
THAT, At the next general election to be held in this state the secretary of state shall submit to the qualified voters of the state for their approval and ratification, or rejection, an amendment to Article I of the Constitution of the state of Washington by adding a new section to read as follows:
Article I, section . . .. (1) The people of the state, including future generations, have the right to a clean and healthy environment, including pure water, clean air, healthy ecosystems, and a stable climate, and to the preservation of the natural, cultural, scenic, and healthful qualities of the environment.
(2) The state, including each political subdivision of the state, shall serve as trustee of the natural resources of the state, among them its waters, air, flora, fauna, soils, and climate. The state, including each political subdivision of the state, shall conserve, protect, and maintain these resources for the benefit of all the people, including generations yet to come.
(3) The rights stated in this section are inherent, inalienable, and indefeasible, are among those rights reserved to all the people, and are on par with other protected inalienable rights. The state, including each political subdivision of the state, shall equitably protect these rights for all people regardless of their race, ethnicity, geography, or wealth, and shall act with prudence, loyalty, impartiality, and equitable treatment of all beneficiaries in fulfilling its trustee obligations. The provisions of this section are self-executing.
See the list of WA Legislators Sponsoring the Washington Green Amendment.
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National Green Amendments Movement
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