SB 5909 Concerning legislative oversight of gubernatorial powers concerning emergency proclamations and unanticipated receipts.
This inadequate bill will have a hearing on Jan 28 Scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on State Government & Elections at 10:30 AM (Subject to change)
You can send an email to the committee members, and you can testify or comment on this bill. This bill does not solve the problem of extended ememgency proclamation, but rather condones what we have experienced for two years.
Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights is dismayed to see this bill regarding a governor’s emergency powers will not solve the problems the present governor’s use of powers as have been presented with his several proclamations. Senate Bill 5909 is a bill that would essentially recommend the present conditions on a governor’s powers remain as the status quo. We also find it dismaying that this is the only bill presently scheduled for hearing and note it is a partisan bill sponsored by only one party, unlike other bills presented on a bi-partisan basis.
Section 1, b) demonstrates the bill sponsors willingness to accept the status quo in that it provides 90 days to elapse prior to any action taken by the legislature and then limits the legislative action to written agreement of only four legislators, which does not provide for representation of the will of the people but limits it to the will of those 4 legislators. This has been an exercise in futility over the last two years of the emergency originally proclaimed. It is obvious that this is not a solution to a problem of lack of representation and the lack of willingness to address a deeper problem demonstrated by the past two years and the progress of this bill beyond other opportunities to address the problem, chiefly, partisanship.
Section 2. 5) reiterates this lack of a solution in the solution presented, the fate of the people in Washington is relegated to a back seat to the will of only four legislators, not the representatives of all the people who face various other problems their representatives are not able to present, repair, or resolve.
Equally dismaying, Sections 4 through 6 are less focused on constituents’ needs and liberties throughout the state, but rather on the creation of yet another committee which will have the oversight of unexpected “revenue”. This committee is also limited to less than full participation of legislators by setting the authority for spending on only 16 legislators. It is not clear in the proposed bill how this committee commands authority for spending based on the legislature's constitutional power to appropriate state funds, it seems otherwise to be missing the point of the legislative responsibility through previously prescribed methods, giving official deference to requests of the governor, the very official responsible for creating the situation for which this deference is purported to be necessary. The committee's action is not binding on the governor, nullifying the purpose of the committee.
Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights opposes and rejects the concepts of this bill which ignores the social, economic, and financial harm perpetrated upon the citizens of Washington State during the prolonged and unexpected two years of division and hardship caused by continual “emergency” proclamations that have arbitrary and capricious decisions regarding essential work, people, and places that have resulted in catastrophic changes, harm to some and not to others, this is the opposite of representation and cannot be mended by the language of this bill. We urge an approach that is bipartisan and focused on solving the problem of extended emergencies that impact life, liberty, and property, not on accepting the status quo and providing for fiscal machinations.
Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights