Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As governors around the country continue to ease or end their shutdown orders, Gov. Jay Inslee says there is no Phase 3 plan in development for our state. Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases continue to fall as Washingtonians responsibly wear masks, distance themselves from one another, and receive the coronavirus vaccine.
To not have a plan in place to more quickly get students back in school or further increase capacity at our businesses is simply unacceptable. Yesterday, legislative Republicans took the lead and held a press conference to announce our Open Safe, Open Now plan. It's the subject of my latest video update.
Details of our plan are as follows:
PHASE 3: Effective immediately
Returning students to the classroom
- All children in grades K-12 would immediately return to the classroom for in-person instruction.
- School districts would implement safety protocols provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Getting people back to work
- Hospitality businesses and public venues statewide, such as restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, museums, libraries, and other entertainment venues, would open to 50% capacity.
- Bars and restaurants would stop serving alcohol and close at midnight.
- State parks and other state agencies whose function is tourism/recreation would resume bookings for day-use and overnight facilities at 50% capacity.
- Indoor weddings and indoor religious services would open to 50% capacity.
- Professional services would open to 50% capacity.
PHASE 4: Effective three weeks after implementing Phase 3
Fully open at 100%
- After a county has operated at Phase 3 for three weeks with no significant spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations, all activities return to 100% capacity.
- Bars and restaurants would return to serving alcohol until 2 a.m.
Some final thoughts
All session long, House and Senate Republicans have been proposing real solutions to get Washingtonians back to work, school, and a more normal life. In my last email update, I provided an overview of the 2021-23 House Republican operating budget proposal, which would fund priorities for all Washingtonians with no cuts to vital services and no new taxes. In another update, I discussed Rep. Drew Stokesbary's REAL Recovery for Washington Act, which would provide $4 billion in relief for Washington families and businesses.
We have solutions while the governor has excuses. It's time for him to lead and for our state to safely reopen.