State House Republican leader: ‘Almost nothing of consequence’ passed

Feb 19, 2022, 7:34 AM
Olympia, election laws, House...
House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox is displayed on video screens as he speaks remotely following opening remarks from House Speaker Laurie Jinkins during the opening session of the Washington state House, Jan. 10, 2022, at the Capitol in Olympia. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Washington state’s House Minority Leader, J.T. Wilcox, says this legislative session has been a disappointment for Republicans.

Wilcox told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH this week that Republicans had hoped for more progress this Legislative session, especially when it comes to clarifying police reform and limiting the governor’s emergency powers.

“There was almost nothing of anything consequence that was passed in the House,” he said.

Emergency powers reform clears state Senate; Republicans claim bill ‘does nothing’

Rep. Wilcox says the emergency powers bill that did pass was the Democrats’ watered-down version. Most Republicans voted against it, and now are drawing heat from their constituents for that vote. However, Wilcox explains they had good reason to vote against it — because they didn’t believe the bill would accomplish anything.

“There are Republicans in the Senate that are getting a lot of anger from people that misunderstand their vote,” he said. “They wanted something effective, they weren’t voting against the idea that we should limit the governor.”

The bill would allow Republican and Democrat leaders in the Legislature to end the governor’s emergency power after 90 days. But Republicans wanted the limit to be 30 or 60 days.

Lawmakers, reform advocates clash over next phase of state’s policing ‘fix’ bills

Wilcox also says the police reform bills didn’t have much in the way of teeth. He, personally, wanted to see clarification that would allow police to engage in chases under more circumstances.

“There was absolutely nothing done to clarify when police can engage in vehicular chases, which are an important and dangerous part of their work,” he said.

“There was a watered-down definition of force, which goes part way toward allowing police to detain folks,” he added, while noting, “There was some clarification passed when it comes to police helping in mental health emergencies.”

Listen to the full interview with Rep. J.T. Wilcox:

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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State House Republican leader: ‘Almost nothing of consequence’ passed