From Komo News, January 2019.
Two Republican state lawmakers from Spokane Valley have submitted a bill to create a 51st state - again.
House Bill 1509, sponsored by Rep. Matt Shea and Rep. Bob McCaslin, would split Washington state in half along the Cascades, separating Eastern Washington from Western Washington.
The counties on the west side of the Cascades would remain in the state of Washington, while the counties on the east side would comprise an entirely new state named Liberty.
From my Facebook.
Seems like whenever there is a movement to split a geographic entity, the break off region goes for a name like "Liberty." Years ago, there was a move to split two regions off of Whatcom County. There was "Freedom" and also "Independence" Counties. Can't people be more original? Seems like every break off idea goes for the a name like Independence.
If Eastern Washington were to create the 51st state, why not call it something related to local geography? How about the state of "Columbia?" Yes, the Columbia River is a very important feature right through the heart of Eastern Washington. Much of that economy is dependent on the river.
I tend to think breaking the state in two is a bad idea.
Here's some more of my thinking.
Where would the new state capital be? Spokane? That's an economic hub for both eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. Spokane calls itself the hub of the Inland Empire. It's like, "all roads lead to Spokane." Problem is, there's another Inland Empire. That Inland Empire is focused around east Los Angeles Metro area and San Bernardino.
Splitting regions can be problematic for sure; especially for a place like the town I grew up in; Pullman, WA. Pullman is home of a big University, Washington State University. Much of the money and students at WSU come from the populous and prosperous west side of the state.
The last county to be created in Washington State. Created by a split is Pend Oreille County. It's up in the north east corner.