Delaware State Representative Ruth Briggs-King is calling on the General Assembly to convene to address critical issues facing the state amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a letter issued to the public last week, Rep. Briggs-King called on her colleagues to convene amid the crisis, saying “it is time that the Delaware General Assembly meet in legislative session.”
“My role in the Legislature is a distinct role that is written in the Delaware Constitution and our role is different than the Executive Branch; therefore, I believe it is imperative that our branch of government convene to discuss issues of great importance.,” Rep. Briggs-King stated. “We cannot, nor should we, allow another branch of government to rule in conflict with our Constitution.”
During an interview with WGMD’s Mike Bradley, Rep. Briggs-King said there are ways for state lawmakers to hold meetings and convene, similar to how the state’s judicial branch is currently operating.
“There are ways for us to convene and to meet, and as it should be, much like the court, judicial is separate, and they’re making their decisions on some things about how the court is operating, and so we’re able to do that,” Rep. Briggs-King said. “We have to go back to the basic premise of this country and the founding fathers – three distinct, separate branches with three different responsibilities.”
Rep. Briggs-King’s call for the General Assembly to convene is not to question the emergency declarations issued by the Governor, but instead to begin to plan and address issues that the state will face as things get back to normal once the threat is minimized across the state.
“Certainly not questioning the ability and the need for emergency action by the Governor, that’s not what this about, but this is saying as we go to getting back to normalcy, whatever that’s going to be, we need to be planning for that as well,” Rep. Briggs-King said. “We need to be an example and a model.”
There are safe ways, utilizing technology, for state lawmakers to convene, hold meetings, and address critical issues that the state currently faces and will face moving forward.
“If we wanted to there would be a way for us to safely have a meeting and entertain what we wanted to do,” Rep. Briggs-King said. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
You can read Rep. Briggs-King open letter in full, here.