New state in east Washington not likely

Spokane, Wash. (KXLY/CNN) — Forming a new state in eastern Washington might sound like a nice idea. “The opinions politically are so different, like so drastically different on either side of the mountains, so i guess it makes sense,” said Washington resident Meggie Tennesen. But to make it actually happen–not as simple.

Michael Treleaven, a political science professor at Gonzaga University said, “I could think of a thousand ways where this could just go nowhere.”

State Representatives Matt Shea and Bob McCaslin are co-sponsoring legislation to form a new state in eastern Washington, the State of Liberty.

Shea says the cultures and lifestyles are so drastically different in the east and the west that Washington needs to separate.

Washington resident Monte Hunstman said, “I always find it fascinating that this resurfaces from time to time, but no, I wouldn’t support it and don’t even think it’s even a realistic possibility.”

He’s right it really isn’t all that realistic. Prof. Treleaven added, “To actually do this is hard work for a long time.” He said to form the State of Liberty would take years and years with hardly any political opposition.

It would first need to be approved by the state House and Senate, then the U.S. House and Senate. Not to mention how the State of Liberty would pay for itself.

Eastern Washington taxpayers don’t pay enough to fund schools and roads and rely on state money. “It would have to decide that it would either raise its own taxes, or do with less,” said Treleaven.

Proposing a bill like this is nothing new. “Every legislative session in recent years anyway, in Oregon and Washington, somebody has introduced a bill to say eastern Oregon or eastern Washington should be made separate states.”

The president of Spokane’s city council is also speaking out against the proposal saying Washington is stronger together than apart.

 

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