OLYMPIA…Senate Republican leader Mark Schoesler released the following statement in response to Gov. Inslee’s announcement today that he is extending the order to stay home during the COVID-19 public health crisis until May 31 and will allow a 4-phase approach toward reopening Washington’s economy.
Phase one of the plan, which would begin May 4, would allow some business activity currently banned to resume. This includes car washes, drive-up spiritual services, automobile sales and retail sales with curbside pick-up. Since the governor stated that each phase would be implemented with a minimum of three weeks between them, it could be July before phase four begins.

Senate Republican leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville said:

“Governor Inslee says he wants to bet on success, not failure, yet he apparently believes the majority of Washington employers would fail to protect their employees and customers if they were allowed to reopen anytime soon. That’s a disappointment. Republicans believe these businesses would follow the steps we’ve seen grocery stores and big-box stores and others take. It seems he has listened to Republican ideas about low-risk business operations like auto dealers and landscapers and car washes, and taking a county-by-county approach instead of forcing the same restrictions on all counties. But again, if he wants to bet on success, why is he forcing so many employers to remain on a path that could easily end in their failure?

“The enormous damage being done by the stay-home order to the state budget cannot be overlooked. There will be a direct correlation between the length and extent of the governor’s shutdown and the size of the cuts he will likely have to propose later this year to a budget that goes mostly to educate our children and support social services, including programs for people with developmental disabilities, seniors, foster families and people experiencing homelessness. Governor Inslee doesn’t have a lot of experience when it comes to spending cuts, thanks to what had been a strong economy, but that’s the corner he is painting himself into.”