Rep. Volz expresses satisfaction as three statewide initiatives pass the Legislature

The Washington State Legislature passed three of the six citizen-driven initiatives on Monday. In separate votes, the House and Senate approved Initiative 2081, which will establish a parents’ bill of rights; Initiative 2111, which will prohibit state and local income taxes; and Initiative 2113, which will restore vehicular police pursuits.

I-2113 will remove certain restrictions on when peace officers may engage in vehicular pursuits. The policy restores the previous standard of reasonable suspicion instead of probable cause.

“My constituents have made it clear since this law was first enacted in 2021, that law enforcement officers must be able to pursue bad actors,” said Rep. Mike Volz, R-Spokane. “Crime rates have surged throughout Washington, especially auto thefts, as criminals use stolen vehicles for crime sprees and getaway cars, knowing police cannot chase them. Passing this initiative means officers can now pursue a person who they reasonably suspect has committed a crime and protect the good people of Washington and our communities. This policy is way overdue.”

The Legislature also passed I-2081, which will provide certain rights to parents and guardians of public-school children, including rights to review instructional materials, inspect records, receive certain notifications, and opt out of certain activities, like sexual-health education.

“No one is more important in a child’s life than his or her parents,” said Volz. “Recently, the Legislature has passed bad policies that reduce or revoke parental rights regarding their children’s education and health care. This initiative will give parents a stronger voice and presence in their children’s education, which will support healthier and happier kids, as well as improved performance in school.”

Lastly, the House and Senate approved I-2111, which will prohibit the state, counties, cities, and other local jurisdictions from imposing or collecting personal income taxes, defined as having the same meaning as “gross income” in the Internal Revenue Code.

“This initiative is very similar to a bill I introduced this session (House Bill 2439), which would have prevented the state from enacting a personal income tax,” said Volz. “I also introduced House Joint Resolution 4202 last year, which would have required a mandatory referendum – a vote of the people – after any tax increase implemented by the Washington State Legislature. The people of my district and throughout the state have made it very clear they don’t want any more taxes. So, I’m very pleased to see I-2111 become law.

“Opponents of this initiative argue it does nothing because the state constitution already bans a personal income tax,” Volz added. “However, we know the majority party has attempted to implement an income tax before. And in 2021, they were successful in passing the capital gains tax, calling it an excise tax, despite it clearly being a tax on income. This initiative protects Washington taxpayers from having to worry about their personal income being taxed in the future.

“Getting these three initiatives through the Legislature is a huge win for the people of Washington. It’s satisfying to see the voice of the people finally being heard on these issues. I want to thank everyone who has made this possible, especially the hundreds of thousands of people who signed the initiatives. I support all six of these policies and hope the three other initiatives also become law,” concluded Volz.

The three passed initiatives are scheduled to become state law 90 days after the Legislature adjourns on March 7, with or without the governor’s signature.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov