OLYMPIA…Legislative Republican leaders released the following statement after learning that three counties will be forced to move backward to Phase 2 in the governor’s reopening plan. Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, and Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, expressed their frustration with the governor’s decision and the Democrat majorities’ inaction on executive powers reform.
“The communities of Cowlitz, Pierce and Whitman counties need to know that Republicans stand with them and disagree with the governor’s decision to move their counties backward. The governor is punishing people who have followed the rules and it will have devastating consequences for many families and businesses. Through no fault of their own, people in these counties will now face more challenges and uncertainty in the weeks ahead. No county should be moving backward in our state’s reopening plan.
“What’s particularly frustrating is the governor made these decisions alone despite the fact we are in a legislative session. That means state lawmakers who represent these counties had no say in the matter. This is wrong. And it’s why we need emergency powers reform this legislative session – to bring the voices of state lawmakers and the constituents they represent to the decision-making process. These voices have been ignored for too long, by the governor but also by the majorities, who refuse to assert the Legislature’s power as a coequal branch of state government. It’s patently absurd that we’re two weeks away from the end of session and they won’t even discuss it. Republicans in both chambers proposed solutions weeks ago. We’ve been calling for action and we’re ready to stand up and get our votes on the record in support of unheard voices across Washington.”