Governor extends stay-at-home order through May 31, phased reopening planned. Businesses call for pause on regulation.

Gov. Inslee today extended his stay-at-home order through the end of May. The Seattle Times reports,

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Friday he would extend Washington’s stay-home order through May 31, but is seeking ways for some businesses to open before then, as he and state officials try to keep the new coronavirus from roaring back.

Inslee said Washington’s businesses would reopen in four phases, with some types of businesses potentially opening back up before May 31.

As reported previously, Inslee is looking at a set of health metrics to guide his reopening strategy. There’s no magic metric, but the governor wants to see the trends heading downward.

Also, we want to call attention to a letter sent by business associations asking for a regulatory pause as the economy is unlocked. AWB reports,

A coalition of 55 Washington employers, business and trade associations called on Gov. Jay Inslee today to temporarily halt new rulemaking, a move that would free up both private and public sector resources to fight the coronavirus.

Many businesses have been unable to fully participate in the rulemaking process, which is proceeding on previously established timelines…

“A temporary pause in new rules and regulations would allow employers to focus on getting through the next few months of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Association of Washington President Kris Johnson. “Many small businesses are entirely focused on financing, making payroll and adapting to new safety measures. This pause would allow employers to focus their energy on adapting to this historic crisis.”

The press release notes:

A similar rulemaking pause was enacted during the Great Recession.

More later.