Schoesler says two full years of emergency orders is too much

Today marks the start of the third year of Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 state of emergency. To 9th District Sen. Mark Schoesler, it’s a frustrating reminder that Washington was not meant to be controlled by one person for so long.

“No governor in our nation has exercised emergency powers as long as Jay Inslee since the COVID pandemic began more than two years ago, and people throughout Washington have had enough,” said Schoesler, R-Ritzville. “His various mandates, especially requiring state employees under his control to be vaccinated against COVID or lose their job, have harmed people’s trust in our state government. People are tired of one-man rule in Washington.”

Schoesler said the two-year anniversary of Inslee’s emergency declaration is a strong reminder that the Legislature needs to pass meaningful reform of the state’s emergency-powers law. The only changes supported by majority Democrats this session would have little practical effect.

“My Republican colleagues and I think that all emergency proclamations made by a Washington governor should have a time limit, and be extended only if the Legislature agrees. It’s time to restore the balance of power in Washington so that the legislative branch can have a say in all emergency orders – including the proclamations that really control people’s lives. We’ve seen other states already do this because their governors and legislatures trust their citizens. We need to do the same thing here in Washington.”

Inslee recently announced that he is relaxing the indoor mask mandate in Washington starting March 12.