GOP Legislators Will Seek to Greatly Revamp Gov. Emergency Powers
It's no surprise that GOP legislators, local officials and citizens have been increasingly frustrated over what they believe are Gov. Inslee's growing abuse of emergency powers to deal with COVID; originally designed decades ago for use in only the most dire circumstances.
But now, it has become apparent they are being abused, say these GOP leaders.
House and Senate Republicans (and even a growing handful of 4-5 Democrats who are business owners) believe Inslee has sidelined the legislature (ignored them) while issuing proclamation after proclamation that has damaged the state's economy and educational system.
House Leader J.T. Wilcox says reforms are needed to specifically require the Governor's proclamations to be up for review or even cancellation by the Legislature if emergencies (such as COVID) last more than 30 days. He said in part:
“If a state of emergency is going to be continued past a certain date or longevity, then the Legislature should be called in. And we now know that we can do a virtual session of the Legislature. And the Legislature should be involved in decisions regarding whether or not we are going to have a state of emergency that doesn’t really have a clear end.”
Many GOP leaders believe if the Legislature waits until January 11 when the next sesson begins, many small businesses will not survive. Many economic experts say Inslee's $135 million relief package is not nearly enough to save many businesses.
Only a portion, about $70 million of the aid is part of the Working Washington grants and loans; and the time it takes to apply for an wait for approval may be too long before many of these businesses go under.
The GOP has been calling for a special session and review of these proclamations, but the Democratic controlled House and Senate have sided with Inslee and refused to budge. A 2/3 majority of House and Senate leaders can force a special session, whether the Governor wants one or not. The problem has been not enough legislators are heeding that call from citizens and business leaders and pushing for it.
To read more about the GOP proposals, click on the button below.