*Please see additional documents at the bottom of this statement

Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) and Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) issued the statement below following the refusal today of Senate Republican leadership to sign off on the Governor’s request to extend emergency protections for survivors of domestic violence:

“We find it incomprehensible that the Senate Republican leadership would refuse to approve extending a common-sense proclamation protecting victims of domestic violence, stalking, harassment, and sexual violence.

“We understand there are genuine disagreements about some aspects of the state’s attempts to protect Washingtonians from the health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the refusal to permit the extension of Proclamation 20-45 – which simply allows for the service of protection orders in a way that lessens the risk of anyone involved in the process either contracting or passing on the COVID-19 virus – defies understanding.

“We urge Senate Republican leadership blocking this extension to reconsider their decision. This proclamation doesn’t prevent anyone from working, from freely assembling, or from engaging in recreational activities. It is not a stay-home order. It closes no businesses.

“It simply makes a temporary, common-sense change to the service of protective orders, and the only effect of blocking its extension will be to endanger women, children, and other victims or potential victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and harassment.”

Related documents:

Letter from Legislative leaders on extension of proclamations

Joint letter of support from Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs

Letter of support from David Martin, Chair of Domestic Violence Unit, King County Prosecutor’s Office

Governor’s proclamation 20-45