Washington House Republicans push for a vote on emergency powers reform bill
Washington House Republicans are pushing for a vote on an emergency powers reform bill they believe is critical to pass prior to the end of the legislative session.
On Friday afternoon, the caucus will make a motion on the House floor to place House Concurrent Resolution 4402 on the Second Reading Calendar. The new resolution, if passed, would waive previously established cutoff dates from an earlier resolution and allow the emergency powers reform bill to be considered on the House floor for a full vote. State representatives will take a roll-call vote on the new resolution.
Washington House Republicans support House Bill 1557, a bipartisan measure designed to ensure adequate legislative involvement in long-lasting states of emergency. Specifically, it would cause a state of emergency to expire after 60 days unless renewed by the Legislature. The bill would also allow the Legislature to terminate a state of emergency on its own authority.
“This bill would bring us into line with what other states are already doing or considering. This is about providing 147 state lawmakers and the people they represent a greater voice in decisions that impact their lives,” said Rep. Drew MacEwen, prime sponsor of both House Concurrent Resolution 4402 and House Bill 1557. “The governor just moved three counties back to Phase 2 in his reopening plan. The state lawmakers who represent these counties had no say in the decision. This is not how our state should operate.”
Washington House Republicans would need nine Democrats to vote with them to pass House Concurrent Resolution 4402 and allow House Bill 1557 for a full chamber vote.
“We acknowledge the governor needs certain emergency powers, but there should be limits,” said House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm. “House Bill 1557 would establish a proper role for the Legislature during emergencies. While it has Democratic sponsors, we need more Democrats to step up and support our House floor efforts so the legislation can be considered and receive a full vote.”
The 2021 legislative session is scheduled to end on April 25.
For more information:
- House Bill 1557 | Increasing legislative involvement in gubernatorial proclamations relating to a state of emergency.
- House Concurrent Resolution 4402 | Exempting certain matters from the cutoff dates established in Senate Concurrent Resolution 8401.
- Senate Concurrent Resolution 8401 | Establishing cutoff dates for the consideration of legislation during the 2021 regular session of the sixty-seventh legislature.
- House Rules
###Washington State House Republican Communications