Three initiatives pass Legislature – three more are headed to ballot

In the final days of the 2024 session, lawmakers of both parties vote to restore police pursuits, ban an income tax, and affirm parental rights. But voters will have to finish the job in November

The following e-newsletter was sent to Sen. Shelly Short’s subscribers March 7, 2024. To subscribe to Sen. Short’s e-newsletters, click here.

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Today we adjourn our 2024 legislative session, and this is my last chance to tell you about one of the most interesting votes I have ever seen in the Washington Legislature. On Monday, the state House and Senate voted to pass three initiatives that had been presented to us by the people of Washington.

These measures are:

If the Legislature hadn’t passed these initiatives, they would have gone to the ballot, and I am sure the people of Washington would have supported them in record numbers. Republicans in the Legislature supported these initiatives unanimously. But what made this vote so striking was that it forced my colleagues in the majority party to repudiate significant portions of the agenda they have worked so hard to enact over the last several years.

So I am sure this vote was very painful for many of those who voted yes. But I am glad they did. This was a victory for the people of Washington. For years we have been telling Olympia we don’t want an income tax. We’re sick of crime, and we want police to be able to enforce the law. And we want parents to have a voice in their children’s education.

Though it took the threat of a public vote to force my colleagues to reconsider their positions, the system worked, and the Legislature at last responded to the will of the people.


Video explainer:

Three more initiatives will advance to general election ballot

In this video, Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, takes on the wild claims our friends are making about the three initiatives that are advancing to the general election ballot this year. You can see it by clicking here.

What the people started, the people will have to finish. Washington voters forwarded a total of six initiatives to the Legislature this year. Unfortunately, our majority colleagues were unwilling to consider three of them. These measures are every bit as significant as the ones we passed, if not more so. They address enormous taxes that have dug deep into our pockets, made Washington less affordable and done great damage to our economy.

Because our colleagues took no action on these initiatives, they will appear on the November general election ballot. They are:

  • Initiative 2109, repealing the state’s new income tax on capital gains,
  • Initiative 2117, repealing the cap-and-trade program that has driven up the price of gas 50 cents a gallon,
  • Initiative 2124, allowing workers to opt out of a mandatory payroll tax for a poorly designed long-term care program.

Had we been allowed to vote on these, I would have supported them with great enthusiasm.

Once we adjourn tonight, legislative rules won’t allow me to discuss my position on these measures in an e-newsletter like this one. So let me offer a warning. In the months ahead, we are going to hear wild claims that these measures will destroy state government, decimate the public schools and cause the sky to fall. The drumbeat is already beginning. None of it is true. The video below does a great job of explaining why.

The initiatives presented to the Legislature this year ought to remind us who is really in charge of Washington state government. Not elected officials, but the people. While I wait for the final gavel to fall, while I still can, let me say how proud this makes me to represent you in Olympia.

In this video, Rep, Chris Corry, R-Yakima, ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, explains why voters have nothing to fear from the three initiatives that will appear on the November general election ballot. See it by clicking here.



Thanks for reading — it is an honor serving you!







Sen. Shelly Short, 7th Legislative District




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