2024 Washington State Ballot Initiatives: What to Know and What to Expect!

Posted By: Daniel Bannon Education, Law,

If you have been keeping up to date with the political landscape of Washington state over the last year you are likely already aware of the six initiatives that were making their rounds in Washington state. Three of these initiatives were approved by the Washington state legislature towards the end of the 2024 Legislative Session. It is likely that we will see this method of grassroots advocacy becoming more prominent in the future due to the success of these initiatives. RHAWA does not have an official position on these initiatives, but it is important to us that our membership is informed on a variety of legislative processes and changes in state law.


I-2111: No State Income Tax

This initiative prohibits the state, counties, cities, and other local jurisdictions from imposing or collecting income taxes, defined as having the same meaning as “gross income” in the Internal Revenue Code.

Specifically, the initiative adds language stating: “Neither the state nor any county, city, or other local jurisdiction in the state of Washington may tax any individual person on any form of personal income. For the purposes of this chapter, "income" has the same meaning as "gross income" in 26 U.S.C. Sec. 61.”

I-2113:  Reasonable Police Pursuit This initiative removed certain restrictions on police officers' vehicular pursuits. 

Prior to the adoption of Initiative 2113, a police officer could engage in a vehicular pursuit if:

• there is reasonable suspicion to believe that a person in the vehicle is committing or has committed a violent offense, a sex offense, a vehicular assault offense, a domestic violence offense, an escape, or driving under the influence;

• the pursuit is necessary to identify and apprehend the person; and

• the person poses a serious risk of harm to others and the safety risks of failing to apprehend the person are greater than the safety risks of the pursuit.

The initiative changed the law to allow vehicular pursuits if:

• there is a reasonable suspicion that a person has violated the law;

• the pursuit is necessary to identify and apprehend the person; and

• the person poses a threat to the safety of others and the safety risks of failing to apprehend the person are greater than the safety risks of the pursuit. 

I-2081: Parental Notification

Initiative 2081 provided parents with a right to review educational materials, receive certain notifications, and opt out of sexual health education. Under the initiative, parents have the right to:

• review textbooks, curriculum, and supplemental materials used in their child's classroom;

• inspect and receive a copy of their child's records within 10 days of a written request;

• receive prior notification of medical services offered to their child, except in emergencies;

• be informed about any medical services or medications provided to their child with potential financial impact; 

• be notified of medical treatment arranged by the school resulting in follow-up care beyond normal hours;

• be notified of criminal actions involving or committed by their child;

• be notified if law enforcement questions their child, except in cases of parental abuse or neglect accusations;

• be notified if their child is taken from school without parental permission;

• be assured that the school will not discriminate against their child based on sincerely held religious beliefs; 

• opt-out students from certain surveys, assignments, and instructional topics, including those related to sexuality;

• receive the annual school calendar and be notified of any revisions; and

• receive information on required fees, dress code, and academic performance threatening promotion.


I-2117: Stop the Hidden Gas Tax

Initiative 2117 would prohibit any state agencies from implementing a cap and trade or cap and tax program.

The initiative would repeal the 2021 Washington Climate Commitment Act (CCA), a state law that provided for a cap and invest program designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 95% by 2050. The cap and invest program sets a cap on the total carbon emissions in the state. Businesses with emissions exceeding 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year must purchase allowances equal to their allowed greenhouse gas emissions. The cap and invest program was designed to allow businesses that reduce emissions to sell their remaining carbon emission allowance permits to other companies, thereby incentivizing companies to lower their emissions. 

I-2109: Repeal the Capital Gains Tax 

This initiative would repeal the 7% capital gains excise tax imposed on sales and exchanges of long-term capital assets by individuals with capital gains over $250,000. Examples of sales that would be subject to the tax include stocks, bonds, business interests, or other investments and tangible assets.

The Washington State Legislature passed legislation creating the capital gains tax in 2021. It took effect on January 1, 2022, with the first payments coming due on April 18, 2023. Revenue from the tax was set to be deposited in the education legacy trust account and the common school construction account.

The following sales are exempted from the capital gains tax in Washington:

• real estate;

• assets in certain retirement accounts;

•interests in privately held entities when the capital gain or loss is attributable to real estate owned by the entity;

• assets sold under the imminent threat of condemnation;

• assets used in a business that are depreciable or qualify for being expensed;

• timber, timberlands, and dividends from real estate investment trusts from timber or timberlands;

• commercial fishing privileges and

• goodwill from the sale of a franchised auto dealership.

In 2023, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that the capital gains tax was an excise tax and did not violate the constitutional prohibition on income taxes. 

I-2124: Opt Out of State-Run Long Term Care Coverage Act

This initiative would allow employees and self-employed individuals to opt out of coverage under WA Cares, the state's long-term services and supports trust health care program. An individual that opts out of the program would not be required to pay the payroll tax assessed on employees' wages that funds the program. The Employee Security Department would be responsible for developing rules to implement the opt-in and opt-out processes. 

WA Cares is a healthcare program funded through a mandatory payroll tax that provides long-term health services benefits (such as home health care, adult day care, nursing home care, and group home care) to qualifying individuals. It is the first state-operated long-term care insurance program in the country. As of 2024, self-employed individuals that opt in to the program cannot opt out of the program unless they become no longer self-employed or retire. As of 2024, the program offered limited pathways for exemptions from paying into the program.

Look forward to more updates on what to expect from your 2024 election season. Our team is currently hard at work developing the 2024 RHA PAC Voter Guide to provide our perspectives on a multitude of candidates up for election this year. As always, feel free to reach out to our advocacy team if you have any questions about the legislative process or our upcoming fundraisers!