Republican leaders: End statewide mask mandate, state of emergency today

Feb 28, 2022

OLYMPIASenate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, and House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, released the following comments upon hearing that Gov. Jay Inslee will announce that Washington’s statewide mask mandate will end March 12 – about a week earlier than planned.

The governor has given no indication, however, that he plans to end the state of emergency and his one-man rule as it enters its third year tomorrow.

“California has already ended its statewide indoor mask mandate. And now California’s Senate President Pro Tem says the Democrats will consider a Republican proposal to end Governor Newsom’s state of emergency, which also began two years ago this week. While we’re glad to see Governor Inslee adjust his timeline for ending the statewide mask mandate to March 12, we’re disappointed that there seems to be no end in sight for the one-man rule he has enjoyed – especially after the Democrat majority officially abdicated all legislative oversight of the emergency proclamations.

“Wearing a mask in public should be a personal choice. We should end the mask mandate today instead of almost two weeks from now.

“The governor should also end the state of emergency and support real emergency-powers reform – not the hollow bill pushed by the Democrats. Tomorrow marks the start of the third year of the people being shut out of the decision-making process. No one wants to interfere with the timeliness of emergency orders. But there should be legitimate legislative oversight 30 or 90 days after an emergency is declared and after a proclamation is issued. As it stands now, we all have to just sit and wait until the governor decides he’s ready to give up this power and restore balance to state government.”