House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox and Senate Republican Leader John Braun released the following statement today:
“We oppose the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for the private sector. This policy will be counterproductive. It will also endanger successful Washington businesses, which have already adjusted to protect public health, and risk more shortages of critical goods and services. Even marginal changes to our state’s workforce could have major consequences for our regional economy.
“Governor Inslee has created an expectation that he will go beyond the Biden Administration’s requirements, including no testing options and smaller businesses being targeted. The governor should choose a path that is least intrusive to employers and least divisive to employees.
“We have learned over the past 18 months that businesses have been successful in implementing policies to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The free market has responded with tools, incentives and successful accommodations. It does not need more government controls.
“The governor’s use of extended emergency powers to enact sweeping orders has caused more resistance and division in our state, as the majority party in the Legislature stands down and avoids responsibility. If the governor wants a vaccine mandate for the private sector, then bring it to the Legislature in January and allow state lawmakers – and their constituents – to have a voice on the issue.”