Future Dim for Bills that Would Restrict Inslee’s Emergency Powers
It's been (as of Monday 1-31) 702 days in Inslee basically took control of the state with an ongoing (seemingly never-ending) series of emergency orders and executive orders, and the Legislator seemingly has been unwilling to stop him.
THREE BILLS NOT LOOKING GREAT FOR PASSAGE
Three bills have been introduced that would curb a governor's emergency powers in different levels.
The bill that most likely has a chance to be voted on and pass is SB (Senate Bill) 5909 which would allow an emergency to continue "indefinitely" but according to the bill:
"... would give leaders of the House and Senate’s Republican and Democratic caucuses the option of terminating it after 90 days if all four can reach agreement. The provision would come into play only when the Legislature is not in session."
Two GOP Bills have been introduced, but only one has been heard, and neither have received a date for a vote: According to Tracy Ellis, GOP Senate Audio Video Coordinator:
"SB 5943, introduced by Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, would require legislative approval for any declaration of emergency lasting longer than 30 days, either by a vote, or by agreement of three of the Legislature’s four political caucuses when lawmakers are not in session. That bill has not received a hearing in the Democrat-controlled Senate. A House Republican proposal, HB 1772, would limit a state of emergency to 60 days unless extended by the Legislature or agreement of legislative leaders."
It's been noted that even WITHOUT these bills, the Legislature has the power to terminate an emergency by a simple majority vote, either in or out of session (if they reconvene for that purpose.
Senator Wilson had this to say about her Democratic colleagues when it comes to reigning in the Governor:
“The only bill that may advance is a Democratic proposal that really doesn’t do much. When it comes to putting checks and balances on the governor, my colleagues certainly seem to be timid.”
The Democratic proposal SB 5909 could be set for a vote during a Wednesday hearing, Thursday is the deadline for bills to be passed along by policy committees. When a bill "dies in committee" that means it either didn't get a hearing, or it never made it out of committee for a vote.