Washington Senator: Phase 2 rollback is Inslee ‘enacting his full authority that we seceded to him’

Apr 15, 2021, 5:46 AM

Gov. Jay Inslee, phase 2...

Gov. Jay Inslee. (Facebook)


Governor Inslee announced, via a press release, that Whitman, Pierce, and Cowlitz counties must move back to Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan. Sen. Jeff Wilson (R-Longview) sees this as a continuing reminder that the governor has too much authority to make such decisions.

“The decision obviously has negative impacts, but we should we should really focus in on the decision. As a senator, this was not my decision. In fact, all of us senators now are somewhat observers that sit on the sideline. This is the governor’s enacting of his full authority that we seceded to him on our first day of the session,” he told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

“So there’s only one person with their finger on the switch right now — that’s the governor,” he added.

Wilson says governors need to have authority in an emergency, he says we’re beyond that as a state, and he thinks communication with Inslee on these matters needs to go in both directions.

“Governors need emergency power authority — of course they do. You talk about natural events and disasters from volcanoes, to other things that require such powers, but this has passed an emergency. But it’s a one-way street. We don’t have the ability to share in the decision making, and this has gone on long enough,” he said.

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“Cowlitz County is a prime example of having that switch turned off immediately at a whim, and it’s difficult to explain the reasons truly why,” Wilson said.

Did the governor’s office coordinate at all with county leaders or the Republican caucus before the Phase 2 announcement?

“I had met recently with the Cowlitz County commissioners. In fact, I met with him yesterday and, at the very best, coming from them, the communication between the governor’s office and county officials at that level is either minimal or doesn’t exist very much,” he said.

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“Going forward, the big idea is, what about the uncertainty? How does a local official turn around and try to explain to its constituents what’s going on? I, certainly, as a senator, I don’t usually dare to take on that task,” Wilson said. “I cannot explain what I do not understand and do not have control over.”

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