Lawmakers ask legislative leaders to call for end of governor’s COVID-19 state of emergency

In a letter addressed to Democrat and Republican leaders in both the House and Senate, 23 lawmakers are asking that the governor's state of emergency concerning COVID-19 be ended before the Legislature adjourns April 25.

The letter notes it has been more than a year since Gov. Jay Inslee issued his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order on March 23, 2020, and says Washingtonians “are ready to get back to living life to the fullest.”

Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, authored the letter.

“It makes sense to allow the governor the ability to quickly respond to an emergency for a limited time, such as an earthquake, or when Mt. St. Helens erupted, or when wildfires consumed entire Eastern Washington communities. However, nearly 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. Our constitution is very clear about this,” said Kraft.

The 17th District lawmaker worries that if the Legislature fails to act before the 2021 session ends in April, the governor will continue to have the unrestricted ability to single-handedly set emergency rules for the state.

“We have three branches of government with equal, but separate powers. Our government was created to prevent one branch from single-handedly deciding what's best for the state,” added Kraft. “It's time to end the state of emergency and move on a course to fully return to normal.”

View the letter here.


Washington State House Republican Communications