Dems Shoot Down Vote on Inslee Emergency Powers
Despite several Democrats being co-sponsors of the bill, the State House over the weekend voted down a proposal that would have possibly allowed the Legislature to curb the Governor's emergency powers.
House GOP Rep Drew MacEwen of the 35th Legislative District (includes Shelton, WA, west of Puyallup and Tacoma) proposed HB (House Bill) 1557, which would have enacted the following limits on the Governor's Emegency Powers:
- Would have caused Inslee's (or any Governor's) Emergency Powers to expire after 60 days.
- Would require renewal of these powers or a state of emergency to be done so by a vote of the entire legislature-House and Senate.
MacEwen's Bill included several Democrats among its 16 official sponsors. MacEwen and House Republicans were allowed to have the House vote on suspending the bill cut-off date, and bring HB 1557 to the floor for a 'last-minute' vote.
Normally, by now, all proposed bills would have had to meet the 'cut-off date' for introduction a couple of weeks ago. But sometimes, on pressing matters, the cutoff date is suspended, and a bill can be directly voted on by the House or Senate.
However, with the rest of the House Democrats voting in block, that proposal was defeated 56-41. They have a sizeable majority in the State House. MacEwen's proposed bill was not voted on, and therefore is considered 'dead.'
GOP House Rep. Drew Stokesbury of Auburn said this about the bill, and Inslee's seemingly unchecked powers:
“It's about asking ourselves whether or not we, for as long as we serve in this body, and every single one who comes after us will have a constitutional role to play in long-lasting emergencies.”
House GOP members say this was probably the last time during this legislative session they will be able to try to curb Inslee's (or any other Governor's) seemingly unchecked Emergency Powers.
A small, but growing number of Democratic legislators in the State Senate, and now even a handful in the House, have been rebelling against Inslee's ongoing seemingly unchallengeable emergency powers, which have now ruled the state for nearly 14 months.
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