OLYMPIA, Wash. - Two Republican state lawmakers from Spokane Valley have submitted a bill to create a 51st state - again.
House Bill 1509, sponsored by Rep. Matt Shea and Rep. Bob McCaslin, would split Washington state in half along the Cascades, separating Eastern Washington from Western Washington.
The counties on the west side of the Cascades would remain in the state of Washington, while the counties on the east side would comprise an entirely new state named Liberty.
Shea and McCaslin have submitted a similar proposal twice previously.
They argue that the culture, lifestyles, and economies of Eastern and Western Washington are so radically different that the state should be divided in half.
The Liberty State website says that the new state would be founded on the principles of lower taxes, limited government, economic prosperity and greater freedom.
Opponents of the measure argue that Eastern Washington currently receives more in services from the state than it pays in taxes, and would be unable to support itself as a separate entity.
In the unlikely event that the bill were to pass, the U.S. Congress would need to approve the new state in accordance with Article IV, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution.
More information on the Liberty State can be found on its website.