OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday evening announced new emergency orders intended to help the criminal justice system, aid commercial truckers and protect consumers from debt collectors through the coronavirus pandemic and the state’s response to it.
The proclamations are effective immediately through May 14.
One proclamation temporarily suspends statutes allowing the collection of judgments on consumer debt, including garnishments of bank accounts and wage garnishments, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
While it is in effect, that order also waives the accrual of postjudgment interest on judgments of consumer debt. That piece is intended to protect people’s assets, including stimulus checks from the federal government, from consumer debt collectors.
A second proclamation temporarily relaxes some requirements — which have also been loosened by the federal government — around extending or renewing commercial driver’s licenses and commercial learning permits, according to Inslee’s office. The move is intended to help commercial truckers stay on the road to keep supply chains strong.
A third proclamation temporarily suspends statutes of limitations for any crimes and also waives the one-year limitation on raising postconviction challenges to criminal convictions, according to the governor’s office.
That measure is designed to give more time for prosecutors to file criminal charges, and also give more time for people convicted of crimes to make legal challenges to those convictions.