Letter to the Editor: Gov. Jay Inslee Must Provide Legal Basis for His Ongoing Use of Emergency Powers


On Dec. 31, I submitted a request for copies of the four written approvals from the state congressional leaders required by RCW 43.06.220 section (4) allowing Gov. Jay Inslee to continue his emergency powers beyond the 30-day limit of the RCW. As of today, three weeks later, he has yet to comply with my request. 

The only thing I received from his office was the normal boiler-plate response they send to everybody about how wonderful he is and how you can get information about the restrictions from the DOH web site. 

Of course, the link included in the response was wrong, since it pointed me to the site discussing the four stages and the county by county restrictions and stages. That hasn't been current for several weeks. Apparently, the governor's staff can't be bothered with passing out correct information.

My concern about all of this is whether the governor was, and has been, acting within the law for the last year. According to the RCW, if Congress is not in session (which it wasn't until recently) the governor must receive written permission to continue emergency powers beyond 30 days. 

The only conclusion I can draw is that he never received that permission in writing — perhaps only verbal. I don't disagree with some of the restrictions, but many should have been visited a long time ago, such as restaurants and bowling alleys. I also wonder why the attorney general is silent on this.


Bruce Peterson