Wilson says passage of voter initiatives is ‘huge win for the people’

Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-17OLYMPIA… The Legislature today followed through on three requests from Washington voters by approving initiatives that will lift restrictions on police pursuits, ban any income tax in Washington and create a parental bill of rights in public education.

Sen. Lynda Wilson helped pass Initiative 2111, Initiative 2081 and Initiative 2113 in the Senate this morning. A majority in the House of Representatives completed the Legislature’s work on the measures late this afternoon. They will bypass the governor and become law in early June.

“This is a huge win for the people of Washington. Never before has the Legislature enacted three voter initiatives in one year, and these all have to do with very important issues. They also line up with my priorities, which are to make Washington safer and more affordable, and make the lives of our children better. It was a privilege to vote yes on all three,” said Wilson, R-Vancouver.

“Over the past century the people of our state have repeatedly said no to attempts to impose an income tax. By passing I-2111, the Legislature is finally agreeing,” said Wilson, Senate Republican budget leader, who had sponsored an income-tax ban in 2020.

“This is important because the state constitution currently allows for an income tax, as long as it’s applied uniformly. The people asked for the shield this law will provide, and with Democrats perpetually pushing one form of income tax or another, I’m glad they will have that protection.”

Wilson had supported the income-tax ban and the police-pursuit reform at the committee level this past week. She was unhappy that so few members of the public were allowed to speak during the committee hearing on I-2113 and spoke this morning for someone who was denied the opportunity earlier – the widow of slain Clark County Sgt. Jeremy Brown.

“I share Jill Brown’s belief that if the Democrats had not weakened police-pursuit rules in 2021, the suspect in the fatal ambush of her husband would have already been in custody.

“This initiative accomplishes something I and other Republicans tried to do in 2022 and 2023. Thankfully, the people used their constitutional power to get past the Democrats’ resistance, because they saw how the reactionary restrictions placed on officers also corresponded to an increase in lawlessness in their communities. They are tired of it! So am I! Passing this is one of the most important decisions we will make this session.”

The income-tax ban was passed 38-11 in the Senate and 76-21 in the House. The pursuit reform received a 36-13 vote in the Senate and 77-20 in the House. Initiative 2081 received unanimous support from the Senate and 82-15 in the House.

“Out of the six initiatives submitted to the Legislature, the parental-rights measure received the second-highest number of voter signatures. That tells me how strongly parents are reacting to the disturbing trends they are seeing in the curriculum and policies at their children’s schools. Too many parents are feeling left out,” Wilson said.

Leaders of the Democrat majorities in the two legislative chambers are refusing to allow public hearings on the other three initiatives submitted to the Legislature, even though more than 800,000 people signed at least one initiative petition, and each initiative received well over 400,000 voter signatures: I-2117, to repeal the cap-and-trade law (officially, the “Climate Commitment Act”); I-2109, to repeal the state tax on income from capital gains; and I-2124, to let workers opt out of what is now a mandatory payroll tax for the state-run long-term care act.