Let’s Go Washington PAC submitted 2.6 million signatures for six ballot initiatives that could appear on the ballot in Nov. 2024

Let’s Go Washington, a campaign supporting six citizen-initiated ballot measures in Washington, submitted 2.6 million signatures for the initiatives before the deadline on Dec. 29, 2023.

At least 324,516 signatures must be found to be valid for each initiative. That’s 1.95 million total signatures between the six initiatives.

State Rep. Jim Walsh (R-19) sponsored the six initiatives, along with Let’s Go Washington. Brian Heywood, CEO of Taiyo Pacific Partners, founded the PAC. Heywood has also donated to Republicans. Walsh said, “The people of Washington, by and large, believe they are taxed too much, and the state is spending out of control. We need to prioritize things.”

The six citizen-initiated ballot measures are:

Initiative 2081 would provide parents with a right, in statute, to review educational materials, receive certain notifications, and opt out of sexual health education.

Initiative 2109 would repeal the capital gains excise tax on individuals’ long-term capital assets with capital gains over $250,000.

Initiative 2111 would prohibit taxes based on personal income.

Initiative 2113 would remove certain restrictions on police officers’ vehicular pursuits.

Initiative 2117 would prohibit carbon tax credit trading and repeal provisions of the 2021 Washington Climate Commitment Act (CCA), a state law that provided for a cap-and-invest program intended to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 95% by 2050.

Initiative 2124 would allow employees and self-employed individuals to opt out of the state’s long-term services and supports trust health care program, known as WA Cares.

The initiatives are indirect initiated state statutes, known as Initiatives to the Legislature in Washington. If enough signatures are verified, the initiatives will be presented to the state legislature at the 2024 legislative session, which begins on January 8. The legislature has three options:

(1) The legislature can adopt an Initiative to the Legislature, in which case the initiative is enacted into law without a vote of electors;

(2) The legislature can reject or not act on the initiative, in which case the initiative is placed on the ballot at the next state general election; or

(3) The legislature can approve an alternative to the proposed initiative, in which case both the original proposal and the legislative alternative are placed on the ballot at the next state general election.

Washington is a Democratic trifecta, meaning Democrats hold the governorship, a majority in the state senate, and a majority in the state house. The Washington State Democratic Party opposes the six initiatives.

Let’s Go Washington has raised $2.5 million and spent $6.93 million. Brian Heywood, founder of the committee, contributed $520,000 in cash and $1.2 million in in-kind contributions.

Brian Heywood of Let’s Go Washington said, “Democrats in Washington state have had 40 years [of party control] to fix the damn system, but they can’t seem to get enough of your taxes to satisfy their huge greed.”

The Stop Greed PAC, sponsored by the Permanent Defense PAC and the Northwest Progressive Institute, is leading the campaign in opposition to the initiatives. The committee has raised $50 and spent $0.

The Stop Greed campaign stated, “These initiatives, sponsored by Washington State Republican Party Chair Jim Walsh and funded by multimillionaire Brian Heywood, primarily seek to repeal recently passed laws enacted by our elected representatives to help Washington achieve a cleaner, safer, and more prosperous future. Passage of any of these measures would undo years of collaborative, hard-won progress on climate action, revenue fairness, public safety, and access to healthcare.”

Since 1914, Washington citizens have filed 1,728 Initiatives to the Legislature, of which, six were enacted by the state legislature and 32 were certified for the ballot. Of the 32 measures on the ballot, 17 (53%) were approved and 15 (47%) were rejected.