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Spokane Leaders Look For More Clarity From Governor

Spokane COVID Response

Spokane elected leaders say they’re looking for more clarity from Governor Jay Inslee as they move forward with plans to rebuild the county’s economy.

The governor on Tuesday night announced the state is slowly working its way toward loosening restrictions.

“Because of the collaborative work my office has been able to do with the construction industry and labor unions, we’ve come up with a sensible plan for allowing limited return to construction measures with safety measures in place," Inslee said

That’s good, say local leaders, such as Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward. But they’re looking for more specifics as to when the county can move forward with additional measures.

“We feel that we are in a position where we can be more flexible in how we open up our economy, in Spokane especially," Woodward said. "Our economy is based on small businesses. They are the bloodline of our workforce. We have many industries that are now, have been out of work, and the percentages of those jobs continue to climb. Unemployment claims continue to climb.”

Spokane officials met Wednesday with business and other community leaders to begin talking about how to disperse $90 million in federal recovery money. Spokane County has created a survey, which you can access through its website, asking people their opinions about that.

Commissioner Al French says the county is anxious to move ahead with an economic recovery. But he says it will not follow the leads of Chelan, Douglas and Franklin counties and disregard the governor’s ‘stay home’ orders.

“We’re not going to do anything that’s illegal or going to get any of us in a position where we’re in a battle with the state," French said.

He says the state attorney general’s office has issued a cease-and-desist order for Chelan and Douglas counties and is in discussions with Franklin County.