Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Lives and livelihoods have been put on hold to combat the coronavirus. People in the 12th District and across the state continue to make phenomenal sacrifices to protect the health of their loved ones, friends, and neighbors. Thankfully, our efforts have proven successful. Public health tools like social distancing, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and testing have all helped address the potential healthcare surge feared at the start of the outbreak.
Reopening the state's economy
Having met the critical goal of slowing the progress of the virus, it's time to refocus attention on reopening the economy. Businesses across the state are working hard to find new ways to adapt and survive. Recovering from the economic impact of COVID-19 is as crucial as combatting its spread. We must have clearly defined goals and measurable metrics for the safe restart of industries across the state.
That's why Republicans in the House and Senate put together the “Safe Economic Restart Plan” with detailed information on how we can go back to work. Please take a few moments to look over the information. As always, if you have concerns or comments, contact my office. I'm happy to answer any of your questions.
Extension of the governor's stay-home order
The governor recently announced the extension of many aspects of his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order through May 31st. He also shared a “4-phased approach” to reopening the economy but gave few specifics on the criteria needed to proceed through each one. The phases each take three weeks or longer, which means the resumption of normal activities may not happen until mid to late July. The pace is frustratingly slow.
Having met critical public health benchmarks, and with many of our small businesses facing months or even years of hardships due to the shutdown, I'm unsure such a prolonged “phased” approach is necessary. Additionally, allowances for regionalization and variances in counties, although somewhat accounted for in the governor's plan, should be broader. Washington state simply cannot and should not remain closed.
Please take a few moments to complete a quick survey. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the state's response to the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have any additional comments or thoughts, call my office at (360) 786-7832 or click here to send me an email.
Helpful resources and information
Need help or information with coronavirus-related issues? The following webpages can help:
- Washington state's official coronavirus site | coronavirus.wa.gov
- Employment Security Department | esd.wa.gov
- Department of Labor and industries | lni.wa.gov
- Superintendent of Public Instruction | k12.wa.us
- Department of Health | doh.wa.gov
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | cdc.gov
- Resource list for impacted Washington businesses and workers
Good news for outdoor enthusiasts!
Washingtonians can resume fishing, hunting, and access to wildlife areas and boat ramps. Day trips to several state parks and public lands are also allowed, as long as the sites are close by. Visitors should check state webpages for which sites are open. The governor also recently announced the easing of restrictions non-urgent medical procedures, golfing, and existing construction projects. Of course, the easing of these restrictions comes with a reminder that everyone must continue to follow coronavirus safety guidelines, including keeping the 6-foot social distancing rules.
Information on future updates
Because of election-year restrictions that begin May 11, this will be my last email update to you until after the November election results are certified. The exception is if we go into a special session. However, I can respond to constituents who contact me throughout the year.
I'm proud of the people of the 12th District and across the state for their courage during the past few weeks. Please remember that my office stands ready to help with your COVID-19 related questions or other state government and legislative issues. Contact me anytime. My phone number, address and email address are provided below.
It's an honor to serve you.