Senate Republicans encouraged Washington moving ahead in reopening

Governor’s plan for Phase 3 echoes Republican’s “Open Safe, Open Now”


OLYMPIA…Top leadership of the Washington State Senate Republican Caucus offered these remarks after the governor announced today that Washington is moving forward in his phased approach to reopening the state in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phase 3, which begins March 22, allows businesses statewide to open to 50 percent capacity, including restaurants and bars. Alcohol service will be extended to midnight. And professional sporting events will be able to welcome fans back to stadiums, up to 25 percent capacity.

Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia:

“I commend the governor for realizing it was time to move our state forward to Phase 3. Opening businesses to 50 percent capacity will put many people back to work and allow them to feed their families and pay their bills. My reaction must pale in comparison to the reaction that families across the state are having. People have gone through tremendous hardships. Maybe this will give them hope for the future.

“It’s important to continue safety protocols like wearing masks, observing social distancing and washing our hands. This fight against the pandemic isn’t over. But the science shows that we can reopen to 50 percent safely and the data shows that it’s time to get back to a higher level of normalcy. We should all be celebrating cautiously.”


Senate Republican Caucus Chair Ann Rivers, R-La Center:

“I so appreciate that the governor incorporated many details of our ‘Open Safe, Open Now’ plan for moving to Phase 3 into the plan he announced today. We hoped he was paying attention to our good ideas, even though they came from Republicans. Today’s announcement shows what can happen when all voices are heard. I do wish he had worked with us more directly since collaboration is how we are going to recover fully. But I am very encouraged.

“I’m thrilled for all the businesses and families that are going to come back from the brink of ruin. I know how much people want to return to work. Heck, I know how much people want to be at the Mariners game on opening day. I pray that infection rates and hospitalization rates continue to drop so we can all move to a full reopening as soon as possible. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do that when the governor reevaluates the metrics in three weeks.”