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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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State Rep. Matt Shea: Split the state so Eastern Washington isn’t ignored

Splitting Eastern Washington into its own state makes sense because residents there are tired of “being run over, ignored and downright marginalized” by the more populous West Side, a Spokane Valley legislator said.

Republican Rep. Matt Shea on Thursday defended his proposal for the Legislature to ask Congress to divide the state in half and rename the eastern portion Liberty. In a press release, he said the idea is worth discussing for a litany of reasons, including differences on wolves, wildfires, water rights, gun rights and abortion.

“These are all issues that impact us on a daily basis, yet we’ve had little say in them,” he wrote. “And that voice of influence continues to get smaller as the Puget Sound rules from its iron throne or ivory tower, take your pick.”

A story in Thursday’s Spokesman-Review on House Joint Memorial 4000, which has Shea as its prime sponsor, explained that similar proposals have been introduced frequently in the Legislature over the years but rarely get a hearing and haven’t received a vote in either chamber for at least 30 years.

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