Initiative 2113 on police pursuits officially certified: Rep. Jim Walsh calls for swift action

Secretary of State Steve Hobbs delivered official notification to the Legislature Thursday that signature verification has been completed and certified for one Initiative 2113. The initiative seeks to amend the state’s controversial police pursuit law by restoring “the authority of police officers to engage in a pursuit when there is a reasonable suspicion a person has violated the law.”

In response, Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, sponsor and author of the initiative, released the following statement:

“Great news for the people of Washington: Initiative 2113, aimed at restoring reasonable police pursuits of criminals and suspects, has been officially certified. We can take practical steps to combat rising crime rates and make our neighborhoods safe again.

“I-2113 enjoys broad and strong support across the state, transcending political and demographic lines. As the sponsor and author of I-2113, I’ve witnessed people signing petitions in favor of this initiative at various events, including 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. People understand the purpose of I-2113 and wholeheartedly support it.

“I urge legislators in Olympia to stand with the people and endorse I-2113 without delay or hesitation. Let’s pass it into law so that it can take effect immediately. Law enforcement officers, who support this positive reform, can then return to enforcing the law.

“The State Constitution explicitly states that the Legislature must prioritize initiatives over other business, a commendable directive. I call upon Washington House Speaker Laurie Jinkins and State Senate Leader Andy Billing to honor this constitutional mandate.

“I-2113 provides Olympia with an opportunity to make a tangible and positive impact on public safety. Legislative leaders don’t need to consult with the outgoing governor on this matter — they can vote I-2113 into law without the governor’s signature, making it immune to his veto. The outgoing governor is not a factor in this decision.

“Today marks a significant milestone for public safety and crime prevention in Washington. It’s a day for real, meaningful change and addressing what’s broken in our state. The people have spoken by supporting I-2113, and now Olympia needs to stand with the people.”

Certified initiatives to the Legislature are submitted during the regular session in January. The Legislature has the option to adopt the initiative as proposed, making it a law without being placed on the ballot. Alternatively, they can reject or choose not to act on the initiative, leading to its placement on the ballot during the next general election. Another possibility is for the Legislature to propose a different bill addressing the same subject; in that case, both measures would be included on the ballot.

The I-2113 has garnered support from more than 400,000 people.

The 60-day 2024 legislative session began on Monday, Jan. 8, and will conclude on March 7.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov