Let’s Go Washington submitted six citizen-initiated measures; three will appear on the Nov. ballot, and three were approved by the legislature

The Washington State Legislature adjourned its 2024 legislative session on March 7, 2024. During the session, the legislature was presented six initiatives sponsored by Let’s Go Washington after the group submitted 2.6 million signatures for them.

Three of the initiatives were adopted by the state legislature. Three will appear on the Nov. ballot for voters to decide on.

The initiatives concern taxes, police vehicle pursuits, and education materials. 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.

The initiatives are indirect initiated state statutes, known as Initiatives to the Legislature in Washington. When enough signatures are verified, initiatives are presented to the state legislature. 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 state legislature passed three of the initiatives, meaning they will become law without appearing on the ballot. Those initiatives are:

  • Initiative 2081, which provides parents with a right, in statute, to review educational materials, receive certain notifications, and opt out of sexual health education.
  • Initiative 2111, which prohibits taxes based on personal income; and
  • Initiative 2113, which removes certain restrictions on police officers’ vehicular pursuits.

Heywood said, “Six months ago, today’s victory was unthinkable to radical progressives. They were quick to categorize all of the initiatives as ‘right-wing extremist’ policies that didn’t have a chance of passing. The 800,000 Washingtonians who signed the initiatives knew they were common sense measures, and the passage of three today proves they are just that. 57% of those that signed the initiatives were Democrats and Independents which is a clear indication that these are bipartisan issues.”

In the Legislature, Democrats, such as Sen. Lisa Wellman, said Initiative 2081 would provide clarification regarding existing state and federal laws but would not change protections that exist for LGBTQ students. Legislators also said that the initiative to prohibit personal income taxes would not change the status quo, as Washington does not have a personal income tax.

Three of the initiatives were not passed, meaning they will appear on the Nov. 2024 ballot:

  • Initiative 2109 would repeal the capital gains excise tax on individuals’ long-term capital assets with capital gains over $250,000;
  • 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; and
  • Initiative 2124, which 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.

There has not been an Initiative to the Legislature on the ballot in Washington since 2019, when voters approved Tim Eyman’s Initiative 976 to limit vehicle registration renewal fees to $30. That initiative was ultimately blocked from taking effect by the Washington Supreme Court.

Since the state’s initiative process was created, nine Initiatives to the Legislature have been enacted by the legislature and not placed on the ballot including the Let’s Go Washington initiatives. In total, 32 Initiatives to the Legislature have appeared on the ballot, of which, 17 (53%) were approved and 15 (47%) were rejected by voters.


Washington 2024 ballot measures

Initiative to the Legislature (Washington)