Senator from Washington’s 17th District and other Republicans had proposed their own plan on March 4
Sen. Lynda Wilson (Republican, Vancouver) offered a statement late Thursday following Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement that all of Washington will move to a Phase 3 of 50 percent capacity on March 22.
On March 4, Wilson and other Republican leaders in the Legislature had proposed their “Open Safe, Open Now” plan, which may have provided a model for the governor’s decision.
“This is good news, although I wish it had come sooner,’’ Wilson said. “Republicans have seen the COVID-19 numbers falling around our state, which is why we had called a week ago for moving to a Phase 3 that would allow 50 percent capacity, return to a county-by-county basis, and fully reopen our public schools.
“The governor has been catching up with the Republican position when it comes to schools, and I’m glad to see he’s now done the same about easing the business restrictions,’’ Wilson added. “Our restaurants and many others hadn’t been allowed 50 percent capacity since early November, so a lot of people have been waiting four months for this – and for some, it’s been far longer.’’
Wilson has previously been critical of Inslee for not allowing legislators more input in his decisions regarding COVID-19. The veteran lawmaker also believes the move to Phase 3 should take place immediately.
“I still believe the move to Phase 3 could and should be made immediately, instead of waiting another 10 days,’’ Wilson said. “I also had hoped the governor would match our plan and allow for a Phase 4 of 100 percent capacity after three weeks in Phase 3, provided hospital capacity is preserved. But the headline for now is that our counties and employers have a clearer path out of the limbo they’ve been in for weeks, and if Republican efforts helped get them there, great!”