Rep. Michelle Caldier speaks out against the governor’s extension of the eviction moratorium

Gov. Jay Inslee will formally announce today an extension of the state’s eviction moratorium set to expire in a few days under Senate Bill 5160.

The final bill was the result of thousands of hours of work and negotiations with legislators, stakeholders, and the public. It also established June 30, 2021, as the end of the eviction moratorium.

Rep. Michelle Caldier, the ranking Republican member on the Housing Human Services and Veterans Committee, sponsored the amendment to end the eviction moratorium that was approved with widespread bipartisan support. The 26th District lawmaker noted that the governor’s decision is yet another example of his lack of concern for public input.

“Tribal leaders recently called Gov. Inslee a snake when he vetoed a consent measure from a climate bill,” said CaldierR-Port Orchard. “As I hear from more and more rental providers across the state—many dependent on these investments for their retirement income—I agree with the tribes. Inslee has yet again broken faith with the Legislature and the public.

“The narrative that people will become evicted on July 1st is false. Property owners cannot evict a tenant until they have completed all the steps outlined in Senate Bill 5160. This is simply another case of the governor catering to a vocal minority in his political party.”

After vetoing a democratic-sponsored amendment that would ensure rental assistance was available until tenant protection programs were fully implemented, the governor signed Senate Bill 5160 into law in April. The extension two months later essentially reverses his previous approval on the moratorium’s end date.

“The governor’s use of his emergency powers—another unilateral decision that bypasses the Legislature—is incredibly distasteful,” added Caldier. “He could have vetoed the June 30 moratorium deadline, but he did not.”

“During the 2021 session, we worked hard to craft a compassionate end to the eviction moratorium,” continued Caldier. “We have onetime federal support funding. If we wait any longer, tenants will face even bigger financial challenges—without adequate support—and so will housing providers. Many of these providers are facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in arrears, and financial assistance programs will not adequately cover their expenses if the moratorium continues much longer.

“I’m extremely disappointed in the governor’s actions. This heedless overreach by the executive branch must come to an end. Constitutional balance, with all the branches of state government weighing in, needs to return to Olympia.”


Washington State House Republican Communications