Fortunato introduces legislation to make some emergency proclamations permanent

Senator slams Democrat effort to sideline legislative oversight

On Wednesday the state Senate’s majority party approved a measure which would extend many of Gov. Jay Inslee’s emergency proclamations indefinitely, and take away the opportunity for continued legislative oversight.

Sen. Phil Fortunato, R-Auburn, believes some of the policies should extend beyond the governor’s state of emergency. He has introduced Senate Bill 5113 to make permanent the proclamations that are taxpayer- and business-friendly, and took time during the Senate debate to chide his colleagues for ceding the Legislature’s authority.

“The discussion around emergency proclamations has been overshadowed by the more controversial mandates by the governor that have ruined our state’s economy and hurt Washington families,” Fortunato said. “However, some of these are good policies like those to protect privacy, reduce regulatory burdens, and provide tax relief. That is why I’ve introduced legislation to make those permanent.”

Fortunato argues that the proposal, rammed through the Senate on a caucus-line vote, goes too far by removing a necessary check on executive overreach.

“For 10 months my constituents have been asking for help, asking for us to do something,” Fortunato said. “We are finally in session, finally here and the first thing the majority wants to do is give our authority away. It’s madness. I’ve contended since May that there is no emergency. What we have is a crisis that needs to be managed.”

The measure was approved 28-19 and now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.