Joint statement on governor’s vaccination mandate for state employees and health care workers

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee recently announced that most state workers in Washington, as well as private health care and long-term care employees, will be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination by Oct. 18, or lose their jobs.

10th District lawmakers Sen. Ron Muzzall, R-Whidbey Island, and Rep. Greg Gilday, R-Camano, issued the following joint statement on the governor’s announcement:

“Governor Inslee’s vaccine mandate for state employees is yet another example of the imperative need for emergency powers reform. Throughout the pandemic, the governor has made these decisions without the consultation of the very people he serves. The public deserves a voice in the process. That’s the role of the Legislature. Currently, Washington state ranks near the bottom in terms of the governmental balance of power. It’s time the majority party agrees to call a special session to address this critical issue.

“Personally, after consulting with our families and doctors, we both made the choice to be vaccinated. While we encourage others to consider getting vaccinated, it is a personal health care decision. Masking and vaccination should not be mandated by the heavy hand of government. The government should respect those with concerns and focus on education and incentives rather than mandates.”