OLYMPIA — Nearly two years after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington Senate on Tuesday approved a measure that authorizes legislative leaders to terminate an emergency after 90 days if the Legislature is not in session.
Senate Bill 5909 passed the Democrat-led chamber on a 29-20 vote and now heads to the House, also held by Democrats, for consideration.
Democratic Sen. Emily Randall, the bill’s sponsor, said there is “room for improvement in our checks and balances of government, especially in times of emergency.”
“This bill is not about one mandate or one governor, it’s about a system with adequate checks and balances,” she said during debate.
Sen. June Robinson. D-Everett, was the lone Democrat to vote against the bill. She said she thought it went too far.
“I just really believe in an emergency that there needs to be one person in charge,” Robinson said. “I listened to the arguments. I just don’t agree with them.”
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