TACOMA, Wash. – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is receiving criticism from lawmakers in his own party over his shifting economic reopening plan, with a group of Democrats from the state’s second most populous county threatening the possibility of a special legislative session.
The lawmakers from Pierce County, south of Seattle, are upset that Inslee paused the plan that left their county stuck in a phase with tighter COVID-19 restrictions.
The letter, sent Thursday afternoon, was signed by eight Democrats in the House and Senate and four House Republicans. It comes the same day that the Washington Hospitality Association launched a petition to follow California’s lead and fully reopen the state on June 15.
Dozens of other states have already set plans to fully reopen their economies, include including New York and New Jersey, which have set a May 19 goal.
The letter states that while they don’t dispute the rising numbers in Pierce County that have only recently started to level out, the decision to pause Pierce and three other counties with more restrictions while allowing counties that were set to roll back to continue to have more business activity “damages both our confidence and communities.”