House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox and Senate Republican Leader John Braun released the following statements today in response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s one-week extension of statewide restrictions:
“I’m disappointed in the governor’s decision. State government continues to focus on how it can shut employers down instead of how it can help them survive. These extended statewide restrictions will take us up to the beginning of the legislative session. That day can’t come soon enough. Republicans will have solutions ready to help small businesses and the people who rely on them. We hope our Democratic colleagues share our sense of urgency and understand immediate actions need to be taken.”
“The governor says we will get through this together, but he is arbitrarily, without apparent regard for science or data, leaving behind our restaurants and gyms. He’s making these decisions from the comfort of a state salary that hasn’t skipped a paycheck during his shutdowns. Why wait another week? Why punish small businesses that have gone to great expense, at a time when they can least afford it, to comply with safety measures by crushing any hope they have of saving their livelihoods?
“His proposals to help people stay afloat should have followed the same approach doctors follow in the Hippocratic Oath. ‘First, do no harm.’ We are past that point now, but we can prevent further harm by ending these unwarranted and cruel restrictions. The governor should work with, rather than against, these businesses, many of which are family owned. He should trust them to do the right thing – none of them want their customers to get sick.
“I’ve said before that Washingtonians can work through hard challenges, but the goal posts keep getting moved further and further away. Many people feel that the targets needed to reduce isolation are arbitrary and unachievable and that the governor will just let them languish indefinitely. Empirical data…the science…doesn’t support the governor’s decision – no matter how much he likes to toss that word around.”