Nearly 97% of those testifying on I-2113 support it

Note: The following e-newsletter was sent to Sen. Padden’s subscribers February 29, 2024. To subscribe to Sen. Padden’s newsletter, click here.

Dear friends and neighbors,

After constant pressure from citizens across the state, three of the six initiatives sent to the Legislature this session finally received public hearings before joint legislative committees earlier this week.

Attendees hold up signs during a rally about the six initiatives to the Legislature, which was held on the Capitol steps last week. Senator Padden was among many legislators who attended.

One was on Initiative 2113, which aims to restore police pursuits in our state to what they were before unreasonable restrictions were imposed by majority Democrats in 2021. The hearing on this initiative was Wednesday morning before a joint meeting of the Senate Law and Justice Committee (on which I’m the Republican leader) and the House Community Safety, Justice, and Reentry Committee. 

Judging by the number of people who signed up to provide either written or verbal testimony during the public hearing, the vast majority of the public supports I-2113. The initiative’s hearing had 5,461 people (96.6% of everyone who testified) sign up in support of it, while only 183 signed up in opposition.

Among those who spoke in support of the measure was 19th District state Representative Jim Walsh, who filed I-2113 last year. Brian Heywood, a citizen, and James McMahan with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs also testified in favor of the measure.

The joint committee heard compelling testimony from concerned citizen Amber Goldade, who told legislators about how a driver who had eluded law enforcement two weeks earlier struck and killed her 12-year-old daughter and a friend in Pierce County in 2022. Amber urged the Legislature to pass I-2113. You can watch her testimony here. During a media availability this morning that included Senate and House Republican leaders, I talked about Amber’s important testimony and the need for the Legislature to pass I-2113 this session.

A concerned citizen named Amber Goldade provided compelling testimony in favor of I-2113 during the joint legislative hearing Wednesday morning on the measure.

On Tuesday, a joint meeting of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and House Finance Committee held a public hearing on Initiative 2111, which would ban any state or local income tax in Washington. That hearing attracted 6,189 people (89.6%) in favor while 673 signed up against it. You may watch TVW’s video of the hearing here. The Center Square wrote an article about the hearing.

Earlier on Wednesday morning, I-2081, which would give parents the right to review K-12 instructional materials and require parental notification of school-provided medical services, received a hearing before a joint meeting of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee and the House Education Committee. That measure drew 5,906 people (89%) who signed up in support, while 693 were opposed.  TVW covered that hearing. You may watch it here.

Democratic leaders have said the other three initiatives sent to the Legislature this session will not receive public hearings, meaning they automatically go on the statewide ballot this November for Washington voters to decide. Those are:

  • I-2117, which would repeal the state’s costly climate policy, called “cap-and-trade” by some but “cap-and-tax” or “cap-and-gouge,” by opponents who note this law has caused gas prices to rise substantially. The climate policy became state law in 2021 and took full effect early last year. It is now in the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee.
  • I-2109, to repeal the state capital-gains income tax that was passed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature in 2021. It is now in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
  • I-2124, which would allow individuals to opt out of the mandatory payroll tax for the state-run long-term care program. It is before the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee.

Here are videos on the initiatives that our caucus created earlier this session:

Legislators have three options with initiatives to the Legislature: 1) adopt the initiative as written, in which case it becomes law; 2) refuse to pass it, which would result in the measure automatically being placed on the statewide ballot next fall; 3) propose and approve an alternative initiative, in which case both the original initiative and the alternative would both appear together on the fall statewide ballot.

If you have questions about how to participate in state government this year or thoughts to share on anything in this e-newsletter, please give me a call or send me an email.

Thank you, as always, for the honor of representing you in Olympia!

Best Regards,

Senator Mike Padden

Legislative session enters final week

The Senate chamber in the Legislative Building.

Besides today being Leap Day (which happens every four years, as 2024 is a leap year), we are one day from the final key deadline of this legislative session.

Tomorrow is the last day for the House to pass bills approved earlier by the Senate this session. Tomorrow’s cutoff also applies for the Senate to pass House-approved bills.

After tomorrow, the Senate will focus on whether to “concur” (agree) with amendments (changes) made to Senate bills before the House approved them.

If the Senate concurs with the House changes to a Senate bill, the bill is viewed as having received full legislative approval and goes to Governor Inslee for his consideration.

If the Senate does not concur, the House has a choice: either “recede” from its position, meaning drop the changes it made and pass the bill as it came over from the Senate, or “insist” on its position. More often than not, the choice to insist ends up with both chambers designating members to confer and come to a compromise. The report resulting from this conference then comes to us for a final vote.

Another important task for the Senate and House to complete is for legislative leaders to reach agreement on compromise versions of the state supplemental operating, capital and transportation budgets. The supplemental budgets make adjustments to the original two-year state budgets enacted by the Legislature last year.

Senate Democrats pass bill that could end retail gun sales in Washington

The Senate’s Democratic majority Tuesday night passed a controversial bill that might result in the end of retail firearm sales in Washington.

House Bill 2118 would require firearm dealers to install burdensome security features and alarm and surveillance systems, and adopt redundant storage and very burdensome record-keeping practices. It also would set minimum insurance-coverage requirements and require employees to undergo annual background checks.

It’s important to know that our state already maintains electronic records of every firearm transaction, through the Washington State Patrol and state Department of Licensing. Despite that, HB 2118 would force the roughly 1,300 retailers with federal firearms licenses (FFLs) to keep paper copies of these transactions as long as they are in business.

Under the bill as passed by the House earlier this session, these retailers would have to maintain 730 days of surveillance video, even though no other agency or business in Washington is required to maintain more than 60 days of surveillance video. An amendment adopted by the Senate lowers that to 90 days, which is an improvement. Despite that amendment, HB 2118 remains a terribly flawed measure that will put many gun shops in our state out of business.

Because the Senate amended HB 2118, it must return to the House so that chamber can concur (or agree) with the Senate’s changes. Unfortunately, this extreme measure very likely will be passed by the Legislature and then signed by the governor.

The Seattle Times, which typically publishes editorials that support gun-control measures, actually ran an editorial earlier this week that opposes HB 2118. The editorial said this bill pushes gun control to a level of punishment for legitimate businesses, and it pointed out that HB 2118 would impose costs on small firearms sellers that could force them out of business and expand the black market for gun sales.   

Spokane student serves as Senate page

This week I had the pleasure of sponsoring Colleen Kittilstved as a Senate page. Colleen, the daughter of Mike and Kathleen Kittilstved, is a homeschooler who lives in Spokane. 

Colleen is on a club swim team and plays varsity basketball for Chesterton Academy. When she is not playing sports, she enjoys being with her family and friends. Colleen also enjoys history and politics.  

It was nice to meet Colleen this week. She did a terrific job as a page. Colleen said she was able to create friendships with other pages, and she enjoyed working on the Senate floor

The Senate Page Program is an opportunity for Washington students to spend a week working in the Legislature. Students are responsible for transporting documents between offices, as well as delivering messages and mail. Pages spend time in the Senate chamber and attend page school to learn about parliamentary procedure and the legislative process. Students also draft their own bills and engage in a mock committee.

FEMA in-person disaster resource centers now open in Spokane County to assist homeowners, renters and businesses affected by 2023 wildfires

Earlier this week, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that two in-person disaster outreach centers are available for survivors of the Gray and Oregon Road Fires beginning today in both the Elk Chattaroy and Medicine Lake communities. The locations and hours are below.

Elk Chattaroy Disaster Outreach Center:

Country Church of the Open Bible, 40015 North Collins Road, Elk, WA 99009.

Medical Lake Disaster Outreach Center:

Medical Lake City Hall, 124 South Lefevre St., Medical Lake, WA 99022.

Hours of operations for both centers: Monday, Tuesday, Friday 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Sundays closed.

The application process with both FEMA and SBA is now open.

  • The fastest way to start the process is to register with FEMA by visiting
  • The fastest way to enroll with SBA is by doing one of three things: visiting SBA’s disaster site:; emailing SBA at or calling SBA customer service at (800) 659-2955
  • Or visit the in-person locations detailed above.

In addition, the SBA and the Washington Small Business Development Center opened an SBA Business Recovery Center in Spokane this past Tuesday to provide a wide range of services to businesses impacted by the wildfires that occurred last August.

Contact us!

If you have a question or concern about state government, please do not hesitate to contact our office. During the session we are conducting business from our Senate office in Olympia. We are here to serve you!

Phone: (360) 786-7606

Olympia Office: 215 Legislative Modular Building, Olympia, WA 98504-0404

Email address:

PLEASE NOTE: Any email or documents you provide to this office may be subject to disclosure under RCW 42.56. If you would prefer to communicate by phone, please contact Sen. Padden’s Olympia office at (360) 786-7606.

To request public records from Sen. Padden, please contact Randi Stratton, the designated public records officer for the Secretary of the Senate and Senate members.