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OLYMPIA, WA – In case you missed it, Let’s Go Washington (LGW) and the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) are partnering on I-2066: an initiative to stop the gas ban and protect energy choice in Washington State. LGW has begun gathering signatures on the measure and will gather over 420,000 by July 5th.

Supporters of 2066 met at Olympia Fireplaces, one of the many small businesses that will be effectively shut down by a ban on natural gas, to talk about the implications of Olympia’s late night legislating.

Signature gatherers are already dispersing across the state to make sure the initiative makes it to November ballots and hundreds of people are mobilized to begin gathering signatures in their own communities.

“Olympia ignored the hundreds of thousands of people in Washington who will be hurt by the natural gas ban. Let’s Go Washington was overwhelmed by the number of people asking us to do something because the legislature ignored them. We were full speed ahead on the three initiatives already on the ballot this November, but the stories from people being hurt by this gas ban were too important to ignore. This is a fight for workers, small businesses, homeowners, and the hundreds of thousands of people across the state who rely on natural gas to stay warm or operate their business. We hope people will join us on the right side of history and stop this gas ban.” – Hallie Balch, Let’s Go Washington Communications Director. 

Olympia bureaucrats have made their intentions to ban natural gas in the state explicitly clear. The building codes in Washington state are among the most restrictive in the nation and even though hundreds of thousands of people rely on natural gas to heat their homes, it costs builders three times as much to provide natural gas systems as it does to build a fully electric home. PSE is required to create a plan to phase Washingtonians out of natural gas usage which will require new and existing structures to retrofit to electric which will cost an estimated $40,000 per home. Protect energy choice in Washington State and learn more here.

According to research from legislative Republicans, motor vehicle thefts went up 73% in the state from 2019 to 2022. It turns out that voters don’t want people to steal their cars. So lawmakers wisely passed a bill allowing reasonable police pursuits.

The third message passed by lawmakers in both parties called for protecting parental rights. Specifically, it spells out that parents are the primary stakeholders for their children. They should have access to information about their children’s schools, mental and physical health, and disciplinary records. The election of Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin made it clear that even voters in blue states care about parental rights.
These were three big wins for conservatives, even in a state ruled by liberals. Each of them will be enacted without an opportunity for the liberal governor to veto them. Three other issues will now appear on the November ballot.

One would stop the hidden tax on Washington state residents. The measure would prevent state agencies from imposing any type of carbon tax credit trading, including “cap and trade” or “cap and tax” programs. It connects the carbon tax to higher gasoline prices. Voters upset about high fuel, food and housing costs will likely vote for this measure; they don’t want to pay more for gas.

The second measure would repeal the capital gains tax. To get around the state constitution, lawmakers claim that the capital gains tax is really an excise tax imposed on the sale or exchange of certain long-term capital assets by individuals who have annual capital gains of over $250,0000. This punishes innovators and family businesses. Passage of this referendum question would allow people to control their own money and keep the government out of their accounts.

The third referendum question allows people to opt out of the state-run long-term care program that has been a failure from the start. It would let workers choose instead of the government.

Liberals never seem to give up. It is refreshing to see a group of conservatives decide that they, too, will never give up. Like our Founding Fathers, they face remarkable odds. So far, they have already achieved half their goal before a single ballot has been cast.

The leaders of Let’s Go Washington caught my attention. Years ago, critics said we could never pass meaningful reforms in Wisconsin after years of liberal control. We were not intimidated, and our reforms are still working today.

The MacIver Institute calculates the true savings of our Act 10 reforms in Wisconsin at $31 billion. More importantly, schools and state and local governments can now staff based on merit and pay based on performance. That means they can put the best and the brightest in the classroom and on the job. We transferred power from big government special interests to hardworking taxpayers — and the people they elect to run their government. Our conservative reforms work.

The recent success in the state of Washington should give hope to conservatives nationwide. Never give up, never surrender.