Record-setting turnout for reopening bill hearing

By on Friday, January 22nd, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

OLYMPIA – An estimated 1,620 people signed in this week for a hearing by the Senate State Government and Elections Committee on Senate Bill 5114 that would take the shutters off restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues while relaxing other restrictions. Social distancing would be maintained.

The measure would place the whole state in Phase 2, instead of the current ruling by Gov. Jay Inslee that it’s in Phase 1. Sen. Perry Dozier (R-Waitsburg) said that 93 percent of those who signed into the meeting favor the bill.

“When this many people come forward, the Legislature needs to listen,” the newly-elected lawmaker said. “The people are telling us they need to get back to work.”

Dozier said that Democrat lawmakers are focusing on what he calls an urban political agenda including income tax and cap and trade while they are ignoring what is the main issue across the state.

“These other issues are a sideshow as far as the people are concerned,” Dozier said. “Our COVID economic shutdown has driven unemployment to record levels. The snarl with unemployment checks shows the state is unable to cope. We have businesses closing for good and idled workers wondering how they will put food on the table.”