Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s draconian executive orders mandating business closures and stay-at-home status for all residents has been rejected by county commissioners in Franklin County. The motion passed unanimously. Now, the legal battles may or may not begin but in the immediate future, the county is official reopened for business.
“I move that Franklin County end recognition of the governor’s stay at home emergency proclamation that is now deemed unconstitutional. We support the reopening for all builders and small businesses that want to work,” Commissioner Clint Didier said during a meeting Tuesday morning.
This opens the door for other counties and cities to oppose the order based on RCW 43.06.220(4), which limits the governor’s state-of-emergency powers to 30 days unless the state legislature passes an extension.
No order or orders concerning waiver or suspension of statutory obligations or limitations under subsection (2) of this section may continue for longer than thirty days unless extended by the legislature through concurrent resolution. If the legislature is not in session, the waiver or suspension of statutory obligations or limitations may be extended in writing by the leadership of the senate and the house of representatives until the legislature can extend the waiver or suspension by concurrent resolution. For purposes of this section, “leadership of the senate and the house of representatives” means the majority and minority leaders of the senate and the speaker and the minority leader of the house of representatives.
Technically, this isn’t a decree to reopen the county. Instead, it’s a declaration that the original order to shut down all non-essential activities has not been extended and is therefore no longer valid. It is unlikely the Governor’s office could win a legal dispute as the law is very clear, but they could muddy the waters if they can get a judge to issue a temporary stay pending court resolution. Even then, the spirit of the county’s rejection would still be in play unless the legislature acts.
The longer businesses are closed and people are out of work, the more dependent the populace will be on government. But Americans generally don’t want handouts. We want to make a living safely. That’s possible if these draconian measures are challenged.
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