Phase 3?

2021 legislative session • February 26, 2021

Washington State House Republicans

Dear Friend:

Every region of the governor's Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery plan moved to Phase 2 by February 14. Unfortunately, the governor said in a news conference yesterday that all regions would remain in Phase 2 for the "next several weeks." And there is still no defined Phase 3. 

This is disappointing. For nearly 12 months, businesses and trade organizations have sacrificed, complied and provided the governor and his staff with input on how to safely reopen our economy. And the costs have been high.

It is absurd for the governor to now say he needs more time and information before determining what Phase 3 will be. Businesses, local governments and Washingtonians should not have to wait several weeks to find out how their communities can advance.

We know how to safely reopen businesses and schools. And it is time to do it. House Republicans have put forward a relief package and operating budget proposal that would provide the resources to accomplish these goals and help those who are struggling the most. 

Economic Sense 

In his most recent edition of Economic Sense, Senate Republican Leader John Braun explains why COVID-19 policies have lost credibility -- including measures being applied arbitrarily and reasonable questions going unanswered. I encourage you to read it. 

Washington Supreme Court ruling 

The Washington Supreme Court struck down our state's felony drug possession law in a ruling on Thursday. This was a surprise to everyone. 

House Republicans are working with staff to understand this ruling and its impacts on both public safety and public health. We are greatly concerned about the legalization of deadly drugs, like fentanyl, and what it could mean for communities. We are working on legislation and I hope to have more to share with you next week. 

A long week of House floor action 

On Monday, the Legislature passed its second deadline: fiscal committee cutoff. Our next deadline is March 9: the last day to consider bills in their house of origin. This 2021 session cutoff calendar explains the upcoming deadlines for state lawmakers.  

Tuesday through Friday of this week included several hours of discussing bills in caucus and then debating and voting on them on the House floor. While many of the bills passed with bipartisan support, there were some contentious ones that included long debates.

For example, House Bill 1078, which would restore the voting rights of convicted felons immediately after they leave prison and even if victim restitution has not been paid. This includes people who have committed the most heinous crimes. The measure passed off the House floor 57-41 on Wednesday. 

We will be back on the House floor tomorrow. Two controversial measures will likely be considered: 

  • House Bill 1054 would severely limit the training, tactics and equipment law enforcement can use.
  • House Bill 1091 would increase fuel costs by regulating the carbon intensity of transportation fuels (low-carbon fuel standard mandate). 

Stay involved 


Rep. J.T. Wilcox
House Republican Leader
(360) 786-7912