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Republican leaders again call on Gov. Inslee to fully reopen Washington

(Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

State Republican leaders are again pushing Gov. Jay Inslee to fully reopen Washington state, arguing that an opening should come before June 30.

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The end of the month is the date originally set by the governor for a full reopening, though he did say there was a possibility the state could open sooner if 70% of Washington residents age 16 and older had at least initiated vaccination before June 30. According to data from the state Department of Health, that number is above 62%. More than 53% of those age 16 and older in Washington are fully vaccinated.

House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox and Senate Republican Leader John Braun released a statement on Tuesday, calling for Inslee to reopen the state immediately and not wait another month.

The two leaders, along with backing from other state lawmakers, had previously pushed for a June 15 reopening date. Wilcox and Braun cite “vaccination rates continuing to increase, new CDC guidance and other states showing the way” as reasons to reopen sooner.

Read the full statement below:

We are calling on Governor Inslee to fully reopen the state immediately. He had left the door open to a reopening before June 30, and we viewed June 15 as a more appropriate target. Now, with vaccination rates continuing to increase, new CDC guidance and other states showing the way, we no longer see a need to wait two more weeks, and certainly not another month. The time to move our state forward is now. Washingtonians want to return to a sense of normalcy and businesses need more certainty as they attempt to recover.

It is also time for the governor to end the state of emergency he declared nearly 460 days ago – and with it, the executive-branch overreach and controversial mandates, like the recent proof-of-vaccination decision from Labor and Industries. Our families, employers and workers deserve better. Unfortunately, the failure of legislative Democrats to even consider emergency-powers reform has led us to where we are at today. The only solution left now is for the emergency to be over.

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The state’s current seven-day average of vaccine doses given and reported per day is 33,160. If it continues at that pace, the state could reach the 70% target by mid-to-late June.

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