Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Throughout this year's 105-day legislative session, one of our top priorities as House Republicans was pushing to implement emergency powers reform. Out of concern the governor would continue to rule by proclamation and executive order indefinitely, we introduced several bills that would have ensured adequate legislative involvement in long-lasting states of emergency. Unfortunately, the majority party wasn't interested in advancing any of our bills through the State Government and Tribal Relations Committee. As a result, nine days before the end of session, I made a motion on the House floor to pass a resolution that would have waived previously established cutoff dates and allowed my emergency powers reform bill to receive a vote. Here was my speech:
Unfortunately, my motion was rejected on a party-line vote, ending the opportunity for the Legislature to pass emergency powers reform before session adjourned. Ironically, a number of Democrats eventually did choose to speak out against the governor, but only after we were safely into interim.
As I've said before, I firmly believe our executive branch needs the ability to respond quickly to pandemics, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other emergencies. However, I also believe there must be limits on emergency powers to ensure one person is not ruling on their own for months or years on end.
As it stands, Washington continues to rank near the bottom of all states in terms of governmental balance of power.
As we look ahead to the 2022 legislative session, emergency powers reform will remain one of our top priorities. We are not going to give up on this issue, I promise you that.
Term limits: I want to hear from you
One of the bills I'm working on ahead of the upcoming legislative session deals with the issue of term limits for all state elected officials. I believe we should limit House and Senate members to 12 consecutive years in one chamber, and limit state executives to two total terms in office. Agree? Disagree? Take my survey and let me know.
Police reform survey results
In my last update, I asked you to weigh in on whether you believed a special session should be called so the Legislature could fix the police reform bills championed by the majority during this year's legislative session.
- Bonney Lake officers say new reform laws kept them from tracking armed suspect
- Man jumps onto cop car, allegedly hits officer who was following police reform rules
- They had probable cause after he made threats, but law prevented Bellingham police pursuit
- Trying to follow new state laws, WSP shut down I-82 Sunday rather than removed woman from roadway
- Deputies searching for suspect after man shot dead in Puyallup parking lot
- State Patrol says troopers were unable to pursue wrong way driver because of new law
- DV suspect evades police as officers adhere to legislative changes
- Tri-Cities woman slashes tires on 3 cop cars. New law kept police from stopping her sooner
Here are the survey results:
I'm glad to see these results. As I mentioned in my last update, our state is ranked 51st out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of the number of police officers per thousand people. In fact, we've ranked dead last for the past 11 years. If we want to solve this problem, we cannot continue to demonize law enforcement and take away the tools they need to bring criminals to justice and keep our communities safe.
Public safety will be a huge emphasis for our caucus during the 2022 session. We are going to work hard to fix these disastrous new bills and solve our police officer recruitment and retention crisis.
Please continue reaching out to me with your comments, questions and concerns. My email address is Drew.MacEwen@leg.wa.gov, and my phone number is (360) 786-7902.
It is an honor to serve you.