Sen. Short gains exemption for Northeast Tri County Health District

RaeLynn Ricarte

Sen. Shelly Short, R-Addy, voted for a restructuring of health districts in Washington after successfully advocating that the regionalized approach be dropped, and a special concession made to keep the district overseeing the tri-county area operating as it is now.

"The original bill was really a state takeover of public health and local control would have been in name only,” she said.

The model proposed in House Bill 1152 followed the regional approach that Gov. Jay Inslee enacted at one point to determine when areas of the state were allowed to advance in his Roadmap to Recovery plan to reopen the economy.

Northeast Tri County Health District officials joined Short and Reps. Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic, and Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, in opposition to the regionalized approach. Their objections centered on Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties being lumped in with Spokane County for a metric of conditions that guided a resumption of business activity.

As the second largest city in Washington, Spokane was experiencing a much higher number of new COVID-19 cases than the more remote areas of the state.

“We think the governor’s regional approach for the Roadmap was sort of an experiment to see how it would work,” said Short.

Read the full story in the April 21, 2021 edition of the Deer Park Tribune.


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