Twenty-three Republican House and Senate members this week urged a quick end to Gov. Jay Inslee’s coronavirus state of emergency.
In a letter dated Monday, the group asked legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle for help in terminating the state of emergency before the 2021 session ends on April 25.
“The people of Washington have been telling us they’re ready to get back to living life to the fullest,” the letter says. “We’re at an important point in this journey, and need to ensure our ability as elected leaders to deliver on their request.”
Several bills seeking to rein in or curtail the governor’s emergency powers have been introduced this session, but they made little headway in the Democratic-controlled House or Senate.
With less than a month left in the regular session, the letter asks the majority and minority leadership team to prioritize efforts to end the state of emergency.
The letter was written by Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver. All 23 representatives and senators who signed it are Republicans.
Kraft noted in a news release that Washington’s coronavirus state of emergency is more than a year old.
“It makes sense to allow the governor the ability to quickly respond to an emergency for a limited time,” she said. “However, a year of power for one person to set state policies without the involvement of the people’s representatives is not the way our government is supposed to work.”
Earlier this year, the Washington House and Senate both agreed to extend more than two dozen coronavirus-related emergency proclamations indefinitely, until the state of emergency end.