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  • Writer's pictureMLWA 7

State of Liberty Rally Coming to Moses Lake. But Could The New State of Liberty actually happen?

— Moses Lake A rally with a focus on an initiative to separate Eastern Washington from Western Washington along the Cascade crust to create a 51st state of Liberty will be held in Moses Lake this March The rally is scheduled for March 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lake City Foursquare Church on 333 N Central Dr in Moses Lake’s Knolls Vista Neighborhood.

According to the organizers of the Liberty State movement, the rally is to "Learn more about Liberty State and how to get involved in Grant County."

East Wenatchee will also hold a volunteer meeting Tuesday, March 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 702 Grant Road. Back in February, supporters of creating the 51st state cited the passing of gun initiative 1639 (an Initiative to raise the age of semi automatic rifles from 18-21, and to properly store the weapons) and higher taxes are the two main reasons for forming the state of Liberty. In late January, two Spokane Valley Republican lawmakers re-introduced the initiative to Olympia to create a 51st state.

House Bill 1509, which is sponsored by Representative Matt Shea and Representative Bob McCaslin, the two Spokane Valley Republicans, would split Washington state in half separating Eastern Washington from Western Washington By the Cascade Range. The counties on the west side of the Cascades would remain in Washington state and the counties on the east side would be included in a new state called Liberty. Rep. Shea and Rep. McCaslin have proposed splitting Eastern Washington and Western Washington twice previously.

According to the Liberty State website, the new state would be founded on the concept of “limited government, lower taxes, greater freedom and economic prosperity”.
Rep. Matt Shea stated..The west side of Washington, he warns, will turn into its own “socialist utopia” and collapse without the rugged mindset and agricultural backbone of Eastern Washington.

The question of splitting the state has always boiled down to whether the eastern half could prosper without the financial support of Seattle. Supporters are confident and point to a region rich in agriculture and electricity. Opponents say Liberty would suffer without the taxes generated by some of the world’s best companies such as Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon.Liberty would have great colleges and hospitals, both public and private. But the 51st state would be landlocked without easy access to the shipping docks of Seattle, though it would have Columbia and Snake River ports that link to Portland and the Pacific. And though Liberty would have far fewer people, it would gain national political clout and rival or surpass many other Western states in population and wealth. It would be larger than Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. It would continue to capture billions of federal dollars to clean up the Hanford nuclear site. While Shea advocates making Spokane Valley the new state capital, others aren’t so sure. Carol Paul, the Lincoln County GOP chairman and another supporter of the 51st State, said one problem with Washington is that Olympia is physically too far away for many residents, and ideologically out of touch with most of the state.

“The capital should be in Moses Lake, Ephrata or Ellensburg,” Paul said. “The capital should be accessible and centrally located.”

Rep. Bob McCaslin, Jr., R-Spokane Valley, is one of the co-sponsors of the measure. At a GOP town hall meeting in Spokane Valley two weeks ago, McCaslin said he co-sponsored House Joint Memorial 4000 in memory of his dad, longtime state senator Bob McCaslin Sr., who really believed in the idea.“I like that the bill has started a conversation,” McCaslin said, “and brought some different people together.”

So does Liberty have a chance this year?
“Absolutely not,” McCaslin said. “It doesn’t have a chance.”
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