The third of six submitted initiatives to the 2024 Washington State Legislature sponsored by Republican State Party Chair Jim Walsh and funded by right wing multimillionaire Brian Heywood was certified today, which means it is destined for the November 2024 ballot for approval or rejection by voters.
Initiative 2081 would undermine the ability of youth to access gender affirming and reproductive care services through their schools, jeopardizing carefully crafted safe harbor policies. It is an attempt to bring the right wing’s education culture wars to Washington, and would erode the trusted relationships that exist between students, their teachers, and their healthcare providers.
According to the Secretary of State’s Elections Division, 28,527 pages of signatures were received for I‑2081, containing 449,646 lines.
324,516 valid signatures are currently required to qualify a statewide initiative.
Initiative 2081 had a sufficient cushion of extra signatures to qualify for a random sample check as allowed by state law, which consisted of 13,490 signatures.
Of those, 10,825 were accepted and 2,665 were reviewed. 2,529 signatures were determined to be invalid, and twenty-four were determined to be duplicate.
Secretary Hobbs today transmitted a certification message to the Legislature affixed with the state seal, advising of I‑2081’s qualification.
The ballot title for I‑2081 is as follows:
Initiative Measure No. 2081 concerns parental rights relating to their children’s public school education.
This measure would provide certain rights to parents and guardians of public-school children, including rights to review instructional materials, inspect records, receive certain notifications, and opt out of certain activities, like sexual-health education.
Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]
The summary is as follows:
This measure would allow parents and guardians of public-school children to review instructional materials and inspect student records, including health and disciplinary records, upon request. It would require public schools to provide parents and guardians with certain notifications, including about medical services given and when students are taken off campus; access to calendars and certain policies; and written notice and opportunities to opt students out of comprehensive sexual-health education and answering certain surveys or assignments.
Legislators have three choices as to how to respond to I‑2081:
- Do nothing, in which case it goes to voters
- Adopt the measure into law
- Send it to the November 2024 ballot with an alternative
NPI opposes Initiative 2081 and is working for the measure’s defeat. Because the chances of the Democratic-controlled Legislature approving I‑2081 are pretty much nonexistent, it will be getting forwarded automatically to the ballot, as mentioned above. NPI’s Stop Greed project is urging a no vote on I‑2081; if you’d like to support this effort, you can donate to Stop Greed here using ActBlue.
“The Washington State Legislature has taken important steps in recent years to prevent deaths and injuries resulting from unnecessary high-speed police pursuits, and to ensure that all students feel safe in Washington’s public schools,” the ACLU of Washington noted last year in a statement opposing I‑2081. “Let’s not allow reactionary forces to roll back this progress for civil liberties and civil rights.”
We agree and we invite you to join us in voting NO on I‑2081 later this year.