Three conservative Eastern Washington lawmakers will propose a bill that would split Washington into two states.
The idea is contained in House Joint Memorial 400, sponsored by Republican state Reps. Matt Shea and Bob McCaslin of Spokane Valley and David Taylor of Moxee. It would create a new state east of the Cascade Range known as “Liberty.”
The Spokesman-Review says the idea of splitting from liberal Western Washington has been proposed numerous times in past decades. The last time a state-splitting proposal went to the state Senate was in 2001.
But the road to a new state east of the Cascades would be a long one. A majority of Washington residents — along state and federal lawmakers — would need to approve the costly move.
Spokane City Councilman Ben Stuckart issued a statement this week against the proposal.
“Our state is stronger together than it would be apart,” according to the statement, which touts statewide assets and partnerships. “I am a proud Washingtonian — from the Idaho border to the Sound.”
Jim Camden of the Spokesman Review notes the political resentment east of the Cascades, especially with voters in Western Washington consistently electing Democratic governors and senators.
Secession movements in Washington are nothing new, but the topic of secession has also resurfaced in other states in the wake of the U.S. presidential election. A related topic of interest to Pacific Northwesterners is the Cascadia independence movement, which recognizes the region primarily consisting of western Washington and Oregon, southeast Alaska and British Columbia.