HB 1772 is the Legislature’s attempt to rein in the governor’s emergency powers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Webster’s dictionary defines emergency as “an unexpected and usually dangerous situation that calls for immediate action.” Fair enough. The governor needs to be able to get the ball rolling when something unexpected happens and there isn’t time for the legislature to react. After all, it is the Legislature that creates law, not the governor. This pandemic has seen him with those powers for well over a year. That doesn’t seem like an “emergency” any longer. It sounds like extended power and control by a dictator. After all, the Legislature has met twice since the governor’s first declaration. And prior to their first session after the declaration the four legislative leaders rubber stamped his continued action. The governor has seen fit to limit public gatherings and has mandated vaccinations in spite of questionable authority and an obvious violation of First Amendment rights.
This legislation basically only limits his initial authority length until it can be extended by the legislative leadership. The governor refused to call the legislature into session. I believe he feared they would halt his emergency powers and he didn’t want that. So, he got the leadership to rubber stamp the continuation of his powers. I suggest that his emergency powers be limited to six months, at the end of which the Legislature should be required to meet to consider any necessary legislation, but relieving the governor of further emergency actions. Six months should give him time to get the necessary agencies rolling and request any assistance from the federal government. He doesn’t need to be the ongoing, forever dictator as he is now.
In fact, even though the Legislature is in session he still is operating under emergency powers. Why?
Write your state legislators and demand changes to HB 1772 further limiting the governor’s emergency powers. Look at all of the state employees we’ve lost because of his obviously unconstitutional mandates. His leash needs to be shortened considerably. In case you’re not sure, they are State Sen. John Braun and Reps Peter Abbarno and Representative Ed Orcutt. Or, you can look up your reps at https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder