Braun on initiative hearings: Three down, three to go

Senate Republican leader calls on majority Democrats to give people chance to be heard

Amber Goldade testifies in support of I-2113. Her daughter Immacculee was killed as a result of a failure in current vehicular pursuit laws.

OLYMPIASenate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, released the following comments after the conclusion of the hearings for three of the 2024 initiatives submitted by the people of Washington to the Legislature. The initiatives receiving hearings yesterday and today are I-2111, to ban an income tax; I-2081, to protect parents’ rights regarding K-12 public education; and I-2113, to restore the standard for police pursuits to “reasonable suspicion.”

Democrats have refused to grant hearings for the other three initiatives: I-2109, to repeal the income tax on capital gains; I-2117, to repeal the cap-and-tax program in the so-called “Climate Commitment Act”; and I-2124, to allow people to opt out of the state’s mandatory payroll tax for long-term care.

“While I’m glad that the people had the chance to weigh in on three of the initiatives this week, I’m disappointed that Democratic leaders are ignoring the other three. The people of Washington deserve to be heard and there’s still time. We still have a week left in this session during which the majority could hold three more joint hearings. What are they afraid of?

“Some opponents of the initiatives have testified that the Legislature has better things to do than hold these hearings. I couldn’t disagree more – upholding our state constitution should never be characterized as a waste of time. It’s been a tough fight to get Democrats to perform their constitutional duty by prioritizing the initiatives over everything except bills that involve appropriations, but I see no reason why the majority can’t find three more hours in the next week to listen to the people on the three remaining measures. The fight isn’t over. We’ll continue to call upon them to do the right thing and listen to the people.”

Watch this week’s testimony on the initiatives: