Lawmakers file bill to split Washington in half, create new state in east called 'Liberty'

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Some conservative Eastern Washington lawmakers want to split the state in two, creating a new state east of the Cascade Range known as "Liberty."

The idea is contained in House Joint Memorial 400, sponsored by Republican state Reps. Matt Shea and Bob McCaslin of Spokane Valley and David Taylor of Moxee.

The Spokesman-Review says the idea of splitting from liberal Western Washington has been proposed numerous times in past decades.

Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart calls it a terrible idea.

The Legislature can't split the state in half. The bill asks the president and Congress to do that.

Congress hasn't created a new state out of an existing state since the Civil War, when West Virginia wanted to stay with the Union and was carved out of Virginia.