The Secretary of State has officially verified the signatures for an initiative that grants law enforcement the authority to engage in pursuits when there is a reasonable suspicion that a person has violated the law. Now, the ball is in the court of state legislators.
On Thursday, Secretary of State Steve Hobbs informed the Washington Legislature that the signatures for Initiative 2113 have been verified and certified. This notification allows legislators to choose from several options: they can either accept the measure as it is, reject or ignore the initiative altogether, or adopt an alternative initiative.
“I-2113 has garnered widespread and robust support throughout the state, cutting across political and demographic boundaries. During my time as the sponsor and author of I-2113, I have personally witnessed people enthusiastically signing petitions in favor of this initiative at various events.
These events include the Splash Festival in Aberdeen, Go 4th! in Longview, the State Fair in Puyallup, house parties in Issaquah, churches in Yakima, Lincoln Day Dinners in Tri-Cities, and town hall meetings in Spokane. It is evident that people grasp the purpose of I-2113 and wholeheartedly back it,” stated Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, the sponsor and author of the initiative, in a statement released on Friday.
If the Legislature adopts an alternative initiative, both initiatives would be included on the November ballot. However, if the Legislature refuses or overlooks the initiative, it will still be featured on the November ballot.
“I call on legislators in Olympia to support the people and quickly endorse I-2113. Let’s pass this law without any delay or hesitation, so that it can take immediate effect. Law enforcement officers, who are in favor of this positive reform, can then resume their duty of enforcing the law,”
Walsh stated. “The state Constitution clearly states that the Legislature must prioritize initiatives above other matters, which is a commendable directive. I urge Washington House Speaker Laurie Jinkins and State Senate Leader Andy Billing to honor this constitutional obligation.”
Five other initiatives are currently awaiting signature verification by the Secretary of State, in addition to Initiative 2113. According to Walsh, around 400,000 people have signed the initiative.
According to Walsh, I-2113 presents Olympia with an chance to have a real and beneficial influence on public safety. He emphasizes that legislative leaders do not require the approval of the outgoing governor to pass this law; they can do so without his signature, making it impervious to his veto. In Walsh’s view, the outgoing governor does not play a role in this decision. The legislative session of 2024 is scheduled to conclude on March 7th.