Lawmaker explains why he introduces Eastern Washington secession bill every year
The idea of splitting Washington state has existed for as long as many can remember, and the issue is once again getting attention with Bill 1239 in the Legislature, which would create a 51st state called Liberty. It would split Washington state in half, going right down the Cascades.
One of the sponsors of this bill is Representative Rob Chase, who joined the Dori Monson Show to explain the motives behind it.
“I think east is east and west is west in Washington state. It’s more of a representation thing. I would say that it would be nice to have our own governor who reflected our values, our own two U.S. Senators, our own Legislature, Supreme Court, and we would have a brand new state constitution to craft that I think would reflect values in Eastern Washington better than we currently have in the state of Washington,” he said.
Chase believes it can be frustrating to not have your views represented, considering that the population center of the Puget Sound area often dominates issues.
“I think the subject has been around almost since statehood originally,” he said of splitting the state. “We have this big mountain range in between us, and probably someone in Ellensburg — maybe even Cle Elum — has more in common with someone in Spokane than we would have in common with, you know, someone in North Bend. … You can see the majority of voters from the Space Needle with your naked eye in the three counties King, Snohomish, and Pierce.”
What are the chances of something like this actually occurring? Not great, Chase says, but it’s reflective of other U.S. movements as well.
“It’s not just Washington state. This movement is in a lot of states, especially California,” he said. “Even New York, I think, has a movement, and you could do it constitutionally. It’s not easy to do it because the state Legislature in Washington state has to OK it and also Congress too.”
“So I think there are reasons for it. And there’s no reason you can’t have 100 stars on the Star Spangled Banner as opposed to 50.”
Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.