The people upstage Olympia with six initiatives

Measures challenge key elements of ‘progressive’ agenda – including higher taxes, more expensive gasoline, and restrictions on police pursuits

Note: This e-newsletter originally was distributed to Sen. Gildon’s subscribers Feb. 8, 2024. To subscribe to Sen. Gildon’s e-newsletters, click here. 

Dear friends and neighbors,

One of the most important developments in Olympia this year didn’t start with the Legislature. It started with the people.

Six initiatives have been presented to the Legislature this session, after petition drives that collected a total 2.6 million signatures. These initiatives challenge the direction the Washington Legislature has taken under the leadership of majority Democrats these last several years – restrictions on law enforcement, higher taxes, and greater authority for government.

The most likely result is that all six initiatives will advance to the November ballot. This will give the people of Washington the final say on the most controversial policies to pass the Washington Legislature in a generation. But there are many twists that could occur before we adjourn March 7.

Between now and November, you will likely hear all sorts of political spin. I want to ensure you know exactly what these initiatives do, so you are well-informed and can help speak truth when the spinning starts.

The people’s agenda

You can find more information about the six measures here. But here’s a quick rundown:

  • Initiative 2113 restores the authority of police to pursue fleeing suspects, and says no to efforts to weaken law enforcement,
  • Initiative 2117 repeals the cap-and-trade laws that have increased gas prices about 50 cents a gallon,
  • Initiative 2081 establishes parental rights in K-12 education, and gives parents a say in what their children are taught,
  • Initiative 2109 repeals the income tax on capital gains our colleagues passed in 2021,
  • Initiative 2111 bans all further efforts to impose an income tax, and
  • Initiative 2124 allows Washington workers to opt-out of a mandatory and deeply flawed long-term care insurance program, as well as the payroll tax that goes with it.

What happens next?

So far our colleagues have been saying they don’t want to consider any of these. Under our state constitution, if the Legislature fails to pass an initiative from the people, it advances to the November ballot and the people have a chance to vote. The Legislature also can pass alternative measures that would appear alongside these measures on the ballot and give voters a choice.

We really don’t know what will happen. There is a month to go in our 2024 session, and there are many possible scenarios. For example, our colleagues may permit hearings on some of these initiatives, even if they are denied votes in the House and Senate. We also may see creative maneuvers designed to prevent the people from voting.

The key thing is that the people have been shut out of the decision-making process in Olympia these past several years. Most of the policies under challenge were approved in 2021 and 2022, when COVID restrictions kept people from the Capitol. Public opposition was widespread, but the people’s voices were ignored. I voted with the people on these, and I am glad they are making themselves heard. They had to work hard for this opportunity, and they should not be denied.





Reminder: Town hall meeting in Puyallup Feb. 17


I will be joining my 25th District seatmates, Reps. Kelly Chambers and Cyndy Jacobsen, for a town hall meeting at Pierce College Feb. 17. I hope you will be able to come!

Thanks for reading — it is an honor serving you!





Sen. Chris Gildon, 25th Legislative District
Deputy Leader, Senate Republican Caucus


Contact me!

PHONE: (360) 786-7648


MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 40425/ Olympia, WA  98504


NOTE: Written communications are subject to disclosure under the Washington Public Records Act