Governor should loosen grip, trust the people, be more inclusive in pandemic decisions, says Braun


OLYMPIA…Senate Republican Leader John Braun offered the following reaction to Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement and accusations during his news conference earlier today.


“No governor has exerted emergency powers during this pandemic as long as Governor Inslee. Tomorrow marks the start of his third year of his state of emergency, and that’s a very long time to bear sole responsibility for calling all the shots. The governor clearly seems to believe he has made all the right moves, and he is entitled to that view. He is less entitled to assign motives to members of the legislative branch who dare to question his decisions and suggest a different path.

“If the governor had been more inclusive during the past two years, instead of meeting only with Democratic legislators regarding his proclamations, he might actually understand what Republican leaders view as important. Maybe he would then be less inclined to cast political aspersions in a random and divisive way. We are for personal choice. If working people want to continue wearing a mask after March 12, they should be able to do so without threat of losing their jobs – and he agrees with us on that. Along that line it was surprising today to hear the governor profess his support for nurses and other working people and their choices, as though he had nothing to do with so many of them losing their jobs last fall.

“Republicans in the Legislature believe all emergency proclamations made by any Washington governor should have a time limit, and be extended only if the legislative branch agrees. We are for restoring the balance of power in Washington to once again include the branch of government that is closest to the people. Other states have done this already because they trust their citizens. If the governor is serious about moving away from pandemic mode, as he has said, it’s time to loosen his grip and trust the people.”