WA GOP chair moves to roll back sanctuary state law, squatters rights, natural gas ban

Supporters will have less than three months to collect 324,500 valid signatures for each initiative to qualify for the ballot by July 5.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
Following the success of 6 voter initiatives to overturn failed Democratic policies in Washington, the chair of the state’s Republican Party is attempting to get three more on the November ballot.

State GOP Chair Jim Walsh, who is also a state representative, told The Ari Hoffman Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI that the three new initiatives, which were filed in late March, will attempt to reverse the Evergreen State’s “sanctuary” status, repeal efforts to ban natural gas, and end squatters’ rights.


Walsh said that the issues have been some of the most common topics at recent Republican town hall meetings across the state. Walsh told Hoffman, “These issues, especially the natural gas resolution, are hot issues. People are really worked up about it and I think it's worth a shot. And there's a hopeful sign.”

Supporters will have less than three months to collect 324,500 valid signatures for each initiative to qualify for the ballot by July 5.

With a presidential election and a race for an open governor’s seat as well as three other initiatives on the ballot to roll back progressive policies, Walsh is optimistic about the chances of success.

The new “No ‘squatters’ rights’ in WA” initiative comes as a story about taxpayer funds being used to keep a squatter in a Bellevue, WA home and a man who was forced to live in his van because of a squatter in his home made national headlines.

Others have filed their own versions of the initiative, with one rolling back the so-called “tenant protection” law that the Democratic-controlled Legislature passed in 2021, that made evictions extremely difficult for landlords dealing with deadbeat tenants.

Remarking on others filing their own initiatives, Walsh told Hoffman, “I've drafted a lot of these initiatives lately, but I don't have to be the one who drafts them. Somebody else could pick up the ball. And I've noticed on the Secretary of State's website, some people have already picked up the ball. And they've done their versions of a couple of these new initiatives. So maybe one of those takes off.”

“I really don't mind whose name is on the sponsor line. That doesn't matter at all to me. I just want to see these reforms."

Another initiative would roll back Washington’s “sanctuary state” status for illegal immigrants, which was passed by Washington Democrats and signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee in 2019 that mostly banned local law enforcement agencies from asking about immigration status, and from sharing information with federal immigration enforcement authorities.

The filing followed the news that a Washington State Trooper had been allegedly killed by an illegal immigrant with a criminal record, including offenses that might have seen him deported.

The third initiative would repeal House Bill 1589, which paves the way for a natural gas ban in the Evergreen State.  

Walsh was previously part of efforts to qualify 6 other initiatives for the ballot. Per Washington state law, the measures were to be taken up by the Legislature for consideration before going to the ballot.

The Democrat-controlled Legislature passed three of the initiatives including reinstituting police pursuits, banning a state income tax, and securing parental rights.

However, Democrats declined to take up the initiative on repealing the state’s capital gains tax, repealing a carbon tax that has spiked gas prices, and making an already insolvent long-term care insurance program taken from Washingtonians' payrolls optional instead of mandatory.
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