OLYMPIA… Senate Republican Leader John Braun and House Republican J.T. Wilcox offered this statement today after the governor announced many of his COVID-19 economic restrictions will be lifted by the end of June.
“Earlier this week members of all four legislative caucuses encouraged Governor Inslee to share the vision of his counterparts in California and Oregon, and decide that our state should fully reopen June 15. Now that our state is aligning with the new CDC guidance, meaning the mask mandate and distancing guidance are lifted for fully vaccinated adults, we believe June 15 is still a reasonable deadline.
“The governor’s announcement today leaves the door open to reopening earlier than June 30, if the state reaches his vaccination target. Either way, we have concerns about what his new guidance will mean for hospitality establishments, grocery stores and other places where people congregate. After dictating for 439 days about what employers can and can’t do, the governor is now saying ‘you figure it out.’ Republicans have pressed relentlessly for that freedom all along. If all employers had already been able to set their own safety standards, whether it’s masks, or distancing – or now, vaccination status – there would be less uncertainty and less chance that frontline workers would be put in difficult situations.
“The governor made it clear he sees no connection between lifting economic restrictions and ending the state of emergency. We disagree. It’s time to give the authority back to local governments and trust them to act responsibly.”