Rep. Jim Walsh releases statement on governor’s extension of the eviction moratorium

Today, Gov. Jay Inslee formally announced his plan to extend Washington's statewide eviction moratorium, set to expire in a few days under Senate Bill 5160.

Signed into law by the governor in April, Senate Bill 5160 was approved with bipartisan support. The bill was designed by lawmakers as a safe way to end the eviction moratorium. Along with tenant protections, creation of rental assistance programs, legal representation for indigent tenants in eviction cases, expansion of the state's eviction resolution pilot program for nonpayment of rent cases, the measure also established June 30, 2021, as the end of the eviction moratorium.

The governor's extension reverses his previous approval of that end date and bypasses both legislative and public input.

19th District State Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, issued the following statement on the governor's announcement:

“This is outrageous and reckless overreach. Time and time again the governor has acted unilaterally. The expiration date of the eviction moratorium was established through the legislative process. It's no wonder so many people feel betrayed by the executive branch.

“By implementing this supposed extension, the governor is acting unlawfully. He could have section-vetoed the June 30 moratorium deadline when he signed Senate Bill 5160, but he didn't.

“That said, such unlawful behavior isn't a surprise. In fact, some of us predicted it. We hoped he would follow the law, but suspected he'd find an excuse not to. And here we are.

“This is a crisis. Many housing providers are already facing insurmountable financial hardship—some are hundreds of thousands of dollars in arrears. Extending the moratorium will only worsen their plight. These attacks on middle-class investors—many dependent on these investments for their retirement income—must stop. We're biting the hand of the economy that feeds the state.

“Worse yet, while loading housing providers with even more financial challenges, the latest tax revenue forecasts gave bureaucrats a surplus of $2.6 billion over the next few years. But instead of offering tax relief to Washington's weary, hurting middle class, the governor finds yet another way to burden them.

“This must end. We need to re-establish constitutional balance in Olympia with clearly defined time limits on any Washington state governor's emergency powers.”


Washington State House Republican Communications