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How Gov. Inslee hinting at more regulations may be increasing the stress

Gov. Jay Inslee and Trudi Inslee. (Screengrab from TVW)

Governor Inslee recently advised a 14-day quarantine for travelers moving through the state, and strongly hinted that there might be more regulations coming soon. That hint may have the potential to cause stress for business owners and employees already struggling and uncertain of just what those regulations will be.

A KIRO listener named Kathy wrote into Seattle’s Morning News to express her frustration with the manner in which Inslee is handling this.

“Watched our Governor and his wife last night and I wonder if he realizes the stress he added to the lives of Washingtonians with his message. He slipped in a ‘more regulations will be coming early next week’ and now we all have to sit and wait and worry as to what they might be. We own/operate a restaurant and now are left wondering if the ‘new regulations’ will mean another closure for us,” she wrote.

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As the owner of a restaurant, she says wondering what these new regulations are going be, and how they’ll be able to, if at all, adjust to them with very little notice.

“In March, he provided us 24 hours notice that we needed to shut down. Does he know we have to place a food order days in advance so 24 hours meant wasted food and extra expense as well as the immediate lay off of most of our outstanding staff? And think of the amazing stress and worry his ‘warning’ yesterday caused our 45+ employees and their families. Will they have a job next week? If they don’t, how will they handle Christmas expenses for their lovely families? We didn’t sleep last night and I imagine many of them didn’t either,” she wrote.

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Like many other small business owners have said, Kathy is concerned that Inslee is not applying these regulations consistently and allowing bigger businesses and stores to remain open while small ones can’t, thereby siphoning off their business.

“And on this note, if Inslee shuts down any part of businesses in the state, he must do it consistently and not allow big businesses (Costco, Walmart and particularly Amazon) to flourish while small businesses sit closed and suffering,” she said.

“Why can Costco sell a laptop but a small computer store must close? Why can Walmart sell craft supplies but Ben Franklin (a family owned craft store) must close?”

KIRO Radio’s Colleen O’Brien understood the sentiment in the letter, arguing that Inslee needs to stop slow-walking the information like this.

“I can only empathize with that and agree that there needs to be some equalizer. And I also agree on the point of the governor saying more restrictions are coming and giving us three days to stew on it,” O’Brien said. “Just rip off the Band Aid. We’ve been doing this for nine plus months. Tell us what the restrictions are. You’re not softening the political blow or softening the blow at all by teasing ahead to Monday or Tuesday’s announcement.”

“He’s got to stop treating Washingtonians like children. Make your decision, stick with it, and let us know,” KIRO Radio’s Chris Sullivan added.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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