Radio Report: Democrats reject MacEwen’s motion to bring governor’s emergency powers reform bill to a vote


With less than a week remaining of the 2021 legislative session, it is becoming apparent the governor's emergency powers will likely remain intact and unchanged. John Sattgast reports.

 Radio Report Transcript

SATTGAST: Since March of 2020, Governor Jay Inslee has ruled unilaterally through emergency proclamations without outside input. On Friday, Republican Representative Drew MacEwen made a motion to suspend the cutoff dates and bring an emergency powers reform bill to the floor for a vote.

MacEWEN: “The founding fathers of this state and of this nation never envisioned a system where one person would have unfettered control of the government for a prolonged period of time.”

MacEwen's bipartisan House Bill 1557 would cause a state of emergency to expire after 60 days unless renewed by the Legislature. Auburn Republican Representative Drew Stokesbary said it would restore the people's voice in their government.

STOKESBARY: “It's about asking ourselves whether or not we, for as long as we serve in this body, and every single one who comes after us will have a constitutional role to play in long-lasting emergencies.”

Although the bill had bipartisan sponsors, majority Democrats soundly rejected MacEwen's motion on a party-line vote.

HOUSE VOTE: “Madame Speaker, there are 41 yays, 56 nays, one excused. The motion is not adopted.”

SATTGAST: Republicans say it may the last chance to provide legislative input before the session ends Sunday, allowing Governor Inslee to continue to singlehandedly ruling by emergency proclamation.

John Sattgast, the state Capitol.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
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