Rep. Volz calls on governor to rollback his economic shutdown, for an immediate special session, and an in-person legislative session in January

'State government – at every level – should be doing everything it can to help mitigate the short- and long-term financial impacts of the governor's shutdown orders,' says Volz

Rep. Mike Volz, R-Spokane, called on the governor this week to reconsider his drastic COVID-19 measures.

“We understand that Spokane County and other areas in the state are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases,” said Volz, who also serves as the Chief Deputy Treasurer for Spokane County.  “That being said, we can't continue to go down this path where the 'cure' is worse than the disease.  Shutting down indoor service for our restaurants, limiting our retail and grocery stores to 25% occupancy, and restricting how our citizens worship are all steps too far.  His orders will result in more small business closures, more economic hardship, and more health and mental health challenges for workers who find themselves with no jobs and no means to pay for immediate necessities.”

While Gov. Jay Inslee included $50 million in relief loans for small businesses impacted by his orders, Volz said that's not nearly enough and is urging the governor's budget director for more.

“We believe there is more CARES funding available and that the Department of Commerce can handle more requests,” said Volz.  “State government – at every level – should be doing everything it can to help mitigate the short- and long-term financial impacts of the governor's shutdown orders.”

Volz also renewed his call for an immediate special session so that elected leaders from around the state can weigh-in on the solutions necessary to address COVID-19 and the impending economic crisis.

“The governor continues to make his decisions and decrees from an isolated vacuum with no input from the Legislative branch,” said Volz.  “We need an immediate special session to address our state's multi-billion-dollar shortfall.  The longer we wait, the worse the problem gets.  The Legislature can tap into the state's rainy-day fund if needed and make budget corrections the governor simply does not have the authority to do.”

While rumors of an online legislative session persist, Volz pushed back, saying he was elected to serve in Olympia and that an online session will only silence the voices of millions of Washington citizens.

“I'm absolutely convinced that lawmakers should be in Olympia, at their desks and in their offices working on behalf of the citizens who elected them to make the tough decisions needed to get our lives back on track,” said Volz.  “Trying to do this remotely will only serve to silence the minority party and restrict the public's access to their elected officials and the legislative process.  This is a dangerous road to go down.  I urge the majority party and the governor to not give in to this temptation.  Call us into an immediate special session and make sure we're all in Olympia come January 11.”

The 2021 legislative session will begin January 11 and is scheduled to run 105 consecutive days.


Washington State House Republican Communications