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Eye On Olympia

Thu., Feb. 3, 2005, 11:34 a.m.

A hardy perennial blooms again…

Yet again, a group of mostly east-of-the-cascades senators are proposing cleaving Washington in half, creating a new state of Eastern Washington.

"Since statehood, the lifestyles, culture and economies of Eastern and Western Washington have been very distinct and dramatically different," reads Senate Joint Memorial 8009 ,"while the urbanization and rapid growth in the western portions of the state has progressively heightened this divergence of cultural and economic values between the western and eastern portions of the state."

No mention is made of what the new state might be called. But an economic analysis done several years ago in response to a similar bill had some urban lawmakers joking that without the economic ties and tax money from Puget Sound, a good name for such a state would be New Appalachia.

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