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Washington Senate OK’s Bill On Governor’s Emergency Powers

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - MARCH 11: Washington State Governor Jay Inslee announces measures to help contain the spread of coronavirus at a press conference on March 11, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. The governor banned events with groups of more than 250 people in certain parts of the state, amongst other measures. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – The Washington Senate has approved a measure that authorizes legislative leaders to terminate a governor’s state of emergency after 90 days if the Legislature is not in session.

The vote comes nearly two years after Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Legislature has no authority to terminate a declared state of emergency, but the four legislative leaders are able to stop some emergency orders by the governor, things like waiving rules on in-person public records reviews.

The bill heads to the House for consideration.

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