Legislative Republican leaders: Don’t wait another month to end state mask mandates

Feb 17, 2022

OLYMPIA…Legislative Republican leaders had the following to say after Gov. Jay Inslee announced today that the statewide indoor mask mandate and the mask mandate for students in grades K-12 will end on March 21.

Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, and Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm:

“We stand by what we said last week: It’s time to end state mask mandates now. Don’t wait another month. If someone wants to wear a mask in public, it should be by choice – not by mandate.  

“Washington continues to be an outlier on this policy, and it’s causing great harm to our students’ social, emotional and academic growth. Governor Inslee and Superintendent Reykdal not being the same page last week caused turmoil in schools and put school districts in a difficult position. This policy has also been hard on our small businesses and workforce at a time they are facing other challenges.  

“We are in the middle of a legislative session yet Democrats have no interest in having any debate on this or any of the other mandates that impact every school, business, and person across our state. Democrats have also made it clear that they will not pass real emergency-powers reform. The governor and Democrats are misreading the sentiments of Washingtonians on this issue and so many others, like public safety, housing and taxes. They continue to pursue yesterday’s ideological agenda. Republicans will continue to listen and respond.”