Letter to the editor: Governor’s emergency powers a reason to choose new state legislators


At this election, I hope all voters will consider the harsh effects of Washington’s continuing and now permanent vaccine requirement for state workers. Recently the loss of approximately 3,000 health care workers became obvious to me during an ER visit.

With all the rooms full, my cart was rolled into a hallway niche. What bothered me most was that it was hard to get a nurse’s attention. With no call light and an IV in each arm, I tried hard knocking on the window next to me to people at computers on the other side. Worse yet was an old man in a room near me crying out “nurse…nurse” and then plaintively “personperson” as he coughed, snorted, swore, yelled and was ignored. Finally he was in the doorway yelling. Eventually staff came and with his oxygen back in place, he became grateful for care that could have been given earlier if there had been sufficient nurses. This was not a hospital TV show.

If we ask why the national shortage of health care workers has been exacerbated in our state, it’s easy to attribute it to the excessive use of emergency powers by our governor. His powers have remained unlimited by the legislature, and for that reason all incumbents of the dominant party deserve to be voted out of office. We need to recognize the great deal of damage done by choosing all new legislators.

Shirley Oczkewicz

  1. It might be easy to blame the governor for the nursing shortage but it’s actually wrong and I’m confused by this take. There’s been a lot of reporting regionally and nationally about the causes, none of which have anything to do with the governor’s emergency powers and the vaccine mandate.

    1. This article was from the Fall of 2021 and I found the numbers on a bunch of sites. Basically it states that over 3000 healthcare workers at that time lost their jobs because of the vaccine mandate in the state of washington. There has been more since then and I don’t know if this figure includes EMTS and Firefighters.

  2. There is no part of the overall work force that isn’t struggling with a labor shortage. It’s not a just a local, state or national problem. It’s a global problem.

  3. I was never more grateful to have Jay Inslee as our Governor than during the pandemic. During a terrifying time for our state, nation and world, he made hard choices and chose to prioritize the lives of Washington citizens by listening and following the guidance of doctors and scientists. I was shocked and appalled that first responders would abandon their posts during the unprecedented time based on false and misleading information, leaving so many citizens in need. According to Politico “During the pandemic, Republican-led states tended to be more resistant to mask mandates and stay-at-home edicts while Democratic governors, by and large, embraced those public health precautions, even at the expense of the local economy. Large southern states with Republican governors, however, experienced worse health outcomes. Almost all of the states ranked at the bottom for health voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.” Maybe we would not have lost those 3,000 health care workers if the Republican President had not lied and misled the public. Once again, Republicans creating the problem, and blaming the Democrats for it. More gaslighting…no thanks.

  4. I have been a nurse for 39 years and the reason nurses and Dr’s are quitting is because people are not getting vaccinated. The Covid deniers who came to the hospital refusing to believe they had it demanding the ineffective treatments when all they had to do to stay alive was get a vaccine. We were verbally and at times physically abused by you naysayers. Stop turning the truth into what best serves your political platform, if everyone had gotten the vaccine right away we would have eradicated the virus. It should never have been made political in the first place. It’s hard for nurses these days to be compassionate when you could have saved yourselves and countless others from dying and overwhelming the healthcare system.

  5. 1) there has been a shortage of Nurses (healthcare) workers for well over 20 years when I worked in the field. So this is nothing new and not the Governors fault. 2) GET the VACCINE it will not hurt you. We have been getting Vaccines for well over 60 years. I for one am glad it is mandatory. People need to get a grip and STOP listening to the right-wing crazy people that are telling you that your rights are being violated.

    1. From your post it seems you are the crazy one. It should be an individual choice. It is not your right to impose your decision on someone else. If you did any research you would see that the vaccine has done damage to many. To each his/her own.

  6. If we just get rid of the commie Jay Inslee , with his emergency powers, and the commie Patty Murray, with her Biden loving inflation votes, our world will be all wonderful again. In other words, I don’t have any real ideas for solving problems, but if I’m able to destroy my opponents’ character and challenge their motives enough, my political viewpoint will prevail with the Right political party in power forever. With a few exceptions (like Cheney and Kitzinger) Republicans have demonstrated they will lie, cheat and steal to gain and retain power while Democrats come up with stupid sayings like “defund the police” and take pea shooters to gunfights, (metaphorically speaking). Republicans are politically smarter but they have no real ideas beyond “privatize it” no matter what “it” is. If Shirley’s viewpoint prevails, which it probably will at least nationally, if not locally, we will continue to watch Democracy in it’s death throws in America. We are supposed to be a nation of laws, not men. Yet, we keep protecting our most powerful with loop holes in the law and the Supreme Court is now the judiciary branch of the Republican Party.

  7. https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=43.06.010 Article 12
    Like or dislike the governor’s actions as you please. Washington law does not provide for any governor to declare an emergency over a pandemic. For locusts? Yes, that’s there. I have asked local representatives to show me where the RCW provides this power and get canceled every time. Minus this power, the legislators would have had to work the last three years.

    1. Mr. Nelson, RCW 43.06.010(13) reads in relevant part: “The governor may, after finding that there exists within this state an imminent danger…which seriously threatens life, health, or economic well-being, order emergency measures to prevent or abate the…disease situation…” Also, RCW 43.06 sections 210 to 270 grant the governor broad powers under a state of emergency declared pursuant to the authority of RCW 43.06.010.

      1. I think we’ve had a range of opinions expressed on this topic so closing this thread now.

Comments are closed.