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 “The Impact”: From Stay Home to State Reopening, March 2020-June 2021 Retrospective 

Mike McClanahan profile by Mike McClanahan

In our final episode for the spring 2021 season of “The Impact” we take a look back to the early days of the pandemic and the March 2020 statewide shut down order that closed schools and businesses deemed non-essential, then fast forward to the 2021 legislative session and the official state reopening on June 30, 2021.

We’ll hear from Senate Republican Leader John Braun (R-Centralia) and House Deputy Majority Leader Larry Springer (D-Kirkland) about what transpired from the early days of the pandemic to where things stand today.

“The first identified COVID victim was at frankly a long-term care facility two blocks from my home in Kirkland,” said Springer. “It came upon us at a time where there were literally, virtually no one alive who had ever gone through anything like this before.”

“It was harrowing. It was devastating to thousands of families, not to mention economically devastating to thousands and thousands of Washington businesses, and I don’t think early on we had any inclination about what was to come,” said Springer.

We’ll cover the statewide shutdown of schools and businesses deemed “non-essential”, the evolving framework for reopening, the pushback from parents and business owners, the debate over the governor’s emergency powers, the virtual legislative session, the state budget, the post session bill activity, and the potential for a transportation focused special session- all on the official full reopening date of June 30th, 2021.

“Look we’ve had our challenges in the state of Washington, but we have been blessed in many ways and more than anything I’d like to thank the people of the state of Washington. We’ve done pretty well here and I don’t  think it’s because of state government or individual employers I think it’s because the people regardless of their politics around the state of Washington have chosen to do the right things for the families, for their colleagues at work for their neighbors and I think that served our state enormously well. We have some challenges ahead of us in the state of Washington, but I have a lot of faith that the people of the state of Washington are going to rise to those challenges. I look forward to working with them.”

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