SPOKANE, Wash. — Two Spokane Valley representatives have introduced a bill that would split Washington state into two states, with the dividing line at the Cascade mountain range.
House Bill 1509, proposed by Republican state representatives Matt Shea and Bob McCaslin, would establish “the new state of Liberty.”
“The western boundary of Liberty follows the crest of the Cascade mountains and the western borders of Okanogan, Chelan, Kittias, Yakima and Klickitat counties. The eastern, northern, and southern borders of Liberty are the existing state borders,” the bill reads.
The bill also outlines transition committees that would help form the new state and government representation.
There has long been talk about splitting Washington into two states but none of the plans ever made it off the ground.
In 2015, a man from Arlington, Wash. created a campaign to divide the state. In 2005, a group of legislators proposed a similar concept but it failed.
Shea is a long-time proponent of the so-called "51st state."
RELATED: Verify: Can states legally be split?
In December, the Spokane Valley City Council corrected news from The Seattle PI claiming the council was voting in 2019 on a proposal to split Washington at the Cascades. It claimed the proposal was the making of Shea, McCaslin and Rep. David Taylor.
The paper issued a correction saying, "An earlier version of this story erroneously reported that the Spokane Valley City Council has planned to vote on a measure that would split the state in two. Two state legislators from Spokane Valley have proposed a plan aimed at splitting Washington into two states, with the eastern portion being called Liberty under one proposal. The Spokane Valley city council, however, has no present plans to consider such a measure. We regret this error."
In November, Shea lost his leadership position in the state house and was replaced with Paul Harris of Vancouver, Wash. In the last session, Shea was the caucus chair for the House Republicans.
This came after Shea released his controversial "biblical guide to warfare."
Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib released a statement on Twitter saying in part, “Thank you to all of you who pressured House Republicans to do the right thing and remove Matt Shea as caucus chair. Advocating violence against religious minorities is both immoral and un-American.”