OLYMPIA…Sen. Shelly Short, R-Addy, Senate Republican caucus , issued the following statement in response to the governor’s announcement today that the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order will end at midnight on May 31 and focus will be directed toward opening Washington’s economy county by county.

“The governor’s announcement today underscores the need for a June special session of the Legislature. It’s time to let the people weigh in – they deserve that respect.

“Earlier today, Senator Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, and Republicans in the House and Senate sent another letter to Governor Inslee calling for the Legislature to convene next month. The end of the stay-home order and the shift in focus to safely reopening our economy signals that this is the right time for the people to have a stronger voice in how we move forward.

“In the beginning of this emergency, we gave the governor the room to do what was necessary to save lives. It’s time he shows trust in the people and their elected representatives by sharing the responsibility of making the decisions on our continued recovery. The urgency that warranted the governor exercising emergency powers is over. This next critical phase needs to give power back to the people. They have felt helpless throughout this public health crisis. Legislators actively engaging in the recovery process is the best way to empower them. Waiting any longer to bring us back in to address the impacts of COVID-19 would only prolong the pain and helplessness Washingtonians are feeling.

“Working cooperatively across the aisle, across the rotunda and with the governor’s office is the best way to rebuild. The governor called on everyone to, ‘get behind the wagon and push.’ That is exactly what we want to do in a special session.”