Note: The following e-newsletter was sent to Sen. Jeff Wilson’s subscribers Jan. 30, 2024. To subscribe to Sen. Wilson’s updates from Olympia, click here.
Six initiatives from the people have been certified by state elections officials and placed before the Legislature. Organizers collected more than 2.6 million signatures, and the final signature counts were completed last week. When all is said and done in this year’s Legislature, these initiatives may prove to be the biggest political story of the year, overshadowing anything that happens under the dome. These initiatives are a stunning expression of discontent with the radical tilt of the state Legislature under Democratic control.
- Initiative 2113 restores the authority of police to pursue fleeing suspects, and says no to efforts to weaken law enforcement,
- Initiative 2117 repeals the cap-and-trade laws that have increased gas prices about 50 cents a gallon,
- Initiative 2081 establishes parental rights in K-12 education, and gives parents a say in what their children are taught,
- Initiative 2109 repeals the income tax on capital gains our colleagues passed in 2021,
- Initiative 2111 bans all further efforts to impose an income tax, and
- Initiative 2124 repeals our state’s deeply flawed long-term care insurance program and the steep payroll tax that goes with it.
The people of Washington are telling us they have a big problem with the grand schemes our colleagues have enacted to remake our state since they won majority control in 2018. They are saying state government is asserting too much power over our daily lives, making life in Washington too expensive, and forcing us to tolerate crime. This public rebuke is all the more impressive when we think about the effort that it takes to gather signatures for campaigns like these. These are the first initiatives we have seen since COVID hit.
Our Democratic colleagues say these initiatives turn back progress, but I think they are the first rays of sunshine we’ve seen in Olympia this year. The state constitution says initiatives like these should be our top priority, over everything except budget bills. But it doesn’t say the Legislature has to vote, so we are unlikely to see anything happen before our session ends March 7.
In that case, these initiatives advance to the general election ballot in November. The people will have the final say. That’s the way it should be, but I think we could have been spared this if our colleagues had been more interested in listening to the people in the first place.
Greetings to Longview’s Kessler Elementary School!
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