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An Auburn, Wash., Republican wants to introduce a bill in the Legislature that would lay the framework to eventually make the city of Seattle its own county, too,
Senate Bill 5932 from Sen. Phil Fortunato would not specifically separate Seattle from the rest of King County but it would create procedures for creating a new county in the future.
If it were passed, Fortunato's ultimate goal is to see Seattle, which he says influences much of what happens elsewhere in the county, venture out on its own.
"Seattle has gone so far off the left cliff that the rest of the county is paying for Seattle's craziness," Fortunato said. "So my dream is Seattle could be King County, and they could do whatever the heck they want, They could have a $25 minimum wage. They could give away free needles. They can do whatever the heck they want, they just can't do it with my money."
The bill is being proposed during the special session of the Legislature.
King County Executive Dow Constantine, a Democrat, said the Legislature has more important things to do right now.
"Since they failed to do their job during the regular session, and the Governor had to call them back, maybe they should now focus on adequately funding the education of our schoolchildren, rather than more cheap political stunts," Constantine said in a statement.
Fortunato said he does not expect anything to get done in this session. He says this just gets the the discussion started.
"Many bills take two, three, four years," Fortunato said.
If Seattle were to become its own county today, it would reduce the size of what is left of King County from 2.1 million people to 1.42 million, based on April 1, 2016, population estimates from the Washington state Office of Financial Management.
That would still make King County the largest county by population in the state, beating Pierce County's estimated 844,490 and Snohomish County's 772,860.
Seattle would be the fourth-largest county by population in the state with an estimated 686,600 people.
So what would the county be called. Fortunato says he would leave Seattle as King County and what's left would get a new name.
How about Queen County?
"I don't like that. I think it's a little too feminine," Fortunato said, adding that maybe a contest could be held.
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