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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you are all staying safe and healthy. Obviously, the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is affecting all of us. Thousands of people have been infected with the virus, hundreds of people have died, and hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs.

My heart goes out to everyone who has suffered because of this pandemic and my prayers are with you. I applaud the social distancing efforts and sacrifices people have made to curb the spread of the virus and help flatten the curve. We are seeing a shift in the right direction in the number of new cases being reported.

However, as the spread of the virus has been slowed, the mounting economic crisis has grown. The Governor doesn’t appear to have a detailed plan to open the economy and help it recover as we move forward. Hundreds of thousands of people are ready to get back to work safely. However, because of the continued “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, they must remain home.

The Governor’s inconsistency in essential business policies and lack of a recovery plan has pushed many people to the brink. Thousands of Washingtonians throughout the state are starting to protest the Governor’s orders.

Yesterday, I joined with fellow Republican lawmakers for a remote news conference to urge the Legislature to call a virtual special session. State Sens. Phil Fortunato, Mike Padden, Doug Ericksen, and Rep. Vicki Kraft, and I are calling for this historic step, in light of recent protests and mounting concerns over the Governor’s unchecked executive actions. Please click on the image below to watch the news conference.

So many people and businesses are hurting in Washington. We need to get people back to work and get our economy moving again. There is no question the Legislature needs to convene a special session to do the job the people of Washington elected us to do. It’s not our intention to protest the Governor’s orders. Rather, we need to work together to be sure our state is headed toward recovery. Here are some of the main points I am proposing we focus on in this special session.

  1. Broader healthcare concerns
    • We cannot continue to let non-emergency cases turn into emergency cases as a healthcare model…especially while hospitals are underutilized.
      • We’ve done our job and made sure our healthcare system did not get overrun with COVID-19 cases. Now we need to open it back up for non-COVID-19 patients to get the care they need, before their non-emergency problems grow into emergencies.
  • Economic recovery and empowerment
    • Capital liquidity and regulatory reform that will take time to ramp up, must be addressed now…not later.
      • Taking measured approaches to opening-up is one debate. However, the solutions for economic stimulus to help small business re-start need to be addressed now.
      • I’ll be sending out another newsletter shortly with my proposal for this.  Additionally, look for details in my upcoming Legislative Update mailer that should be arriving around May 1.
  • Faith-based engagement
    • This represents a major component of the private sector that is raring to go to support the stay-at-home guidelines while carefully providing for those in need.
      • Inconsistent rules that say you can shop at a marijuana store or Costco but cannot attend a church service (on Easter no less) must be addressed. 
      • Churches and your faith-based communities are on the frontlines and willing to help us provide for proactive social distancing solutions. For example:
        • Providing for grocery pick-up and delivery to seniors or other at-risk congregation members, so that they can stay home and stay safe. 

The Legislature should convene, and we can do it safely. The only mandatory in-person responsibility would be taking the actual vote. All other legislative work could be done remotely.

The stay at home orders have been working, but they will only continue to work if people keep choosing to abide by them. However, we are seeing a greater level of civil disobedience because people are frustrated. If that continues to occur, then the whole system will fall apart.

I want to hear the Governor say he’s more interested in working with the state Legislature than he is with working with other state governors. Our duty as elected officials is to help Washington recover from this crisis. However, with response funds drying up and a lack of options at the executive level, a special session is necessary to address the existing needs of the state for economic recovery. To not do that is really shirking our responsibilities.

My thoughts and prayers are with you as we continue to battle this crisis. I’m still as confident as ever that we will win this fight! Stay safe and stay healthy!

In strength and honor,


Jesse Young

State Representative Jesse Young, 26th Legislative District
468 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7964 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000