Braun statement regarding governor’s stay-at-home extension

OLYMPIA…Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia and budget leader for Washington’s Senate Republican Caucus, made this statement about the governor’s decision to extend by one month the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order issued March 23.

“This is a sound decision. From a public-health standpoint it makes sense to continue limiting the movement of Washington residents. I do hope some thought has been given to what this will mean from an economic standpoint, because we need a strong private sector to support the public services and programs that benefit so many people. Coming out of this crisis with a devastated economy would not only prolong the pain so many are already feeling but also harm the state budget. That would be terrible news for people with developmental disabilities, seniors, foster families, schoolchildren, people experiencing homelessness, the hardworking taxpayers and so many more.

“We need to do what we can to preserve critical industries, such as residential construction, so that temporary job loss does not become permanent, homelessness does not worsen and food shortages don’t develop. People need to have jobs to return to when ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ ends. They are looking to their leaders to not only protect their lives but also their way of life.

“As the people of our state prepare to adjust to this stay-at-home extension, it also would be helpful and appropriate for the governor to keep them informed about the metrics he’s using to decide when it’s time to reopen schools and the parts of the economy that were abruptly closed. I asked for those several days ago, to no avail, which raises questions about how the decision today was reached. The governor touched on some data points during the announcement but he owes the people maximum transparency on this issue. Washingtonians can work through hard challenges. If we know what is being measured, and the targets needed to reduce the isolation and restart our economy, it would help all of us to stay focused on behaviors that will get us there the soonest and allow people a sense of stability. That would be good for everyone.”