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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Many of you have contacted my office about your concerns with vaccine mandates. Having to choose between getting a shot or your career and the ability to feed your families is causing angst for many.
Even citizens who have received the vaccine have contacted me to say they are against government mandates. Where do you stand? I want to know your thoughts on vaccine and mask mandates. Click here to take my very brief online survey. It's imperative that I hear from my constituents on critical issues like this in order for me to serve you better.
Does the governor have too much power?
Regardless how you feel about vaccine mandates, I'm hoping people are starting to realize that “emergency powers reform” is an absolute necessity. Our state has been under one-person control since the beginning of the pandemic. While an argument can be made for the need for emergency powers under extreme, unforeseen crises, it shouldn't be used as an excuse to rule on a permanent or long-term basis.
As it is, the majority party Democrats in Olympia have shown no desire to bring the governor's emergency powers under control. Some have even accused them of hiding behind the governor's emergency powers, allowing him to implement all kinds of “policy directives” without legislative Democrats having to vote on these unpopular edicts. I don't know whether that's true or not. But what I do know is that our system of government was not designed to be run by one person for this long. We must have emergency powers reform.
For more information on how my House Republican colleagues and I have attempted to curtail the governor's emergency powers, you can visit our website here.
In addition, I wanted to share with you Judge Dave Larson's thoughts on this issue. Judge Larson is a municipal court judge in Federal Way. He recently authored an opinion piece in The Seattle Times, which you can read here. I agree with what Judge Larson is saying and share his concerns with where we are at in regards to our state's legal obligations.
“The issue is not whether vaccinations can be legally required; the issue is whether the governor, the justices or others have the lawful authority to force public employees or anyone else to be vaccinated as a condition of employment.”
“The question is whether we want 147 elected representatives after open discussion and debate to create our legal obligations. Or, whether we want one person, or just a few people, after no discussion or debate to decide our legal obligations.”
“…the most troubling evidence of the breakdown of our system is that the fear of standing up has brought us to our knees.”Dave Larson, Federal Way municipal judge
Again, I urge you to read his entire commentary on the issue here.
Once every ten years, Washington state legislative districts go through a “redistricting process.” This coincides with the national census and takes into account population shifts. This can be a contentious time for other states, but here in Washington, there is a lot of give-and-take as the redistricting commission works through the process.
This week, four proposals were introduced by members of the commission. In the coming weeks, citizens will be able to provide input as the commission works to finalize the details later this fall. For more information on these new maps, click here.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you in the state Legislature. And please remember to take my online survey. Your thoughts and opinions matter.
435 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(509) 960-5393 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000