PASCO, WA - The Franklin County commissioners voted Wednesday morning to turn in their application for a variation of phase two, to the Washington State Department of Health.
The commissioners voted 2-1 to approve the application. Commissioner Clint Didier cast the sole opposing vote.
“86% of infections are in the Hispanic population which is agricultural workers,” Didier said. According to the Benton Franklin Health District, the percentage of Latinos that have contracted COVID-19 is 58.5% in Franklin County. The number doesn't specify their line of work.
Part of the reason he said he voted no, citing government overreach in the four-phase reopening plan. “I want the businesses to open up but I’m not in favor to take away more liberties from our people,” said Didier.
Application approval includes hiring 30 more full-time employees for the health district. Didier also questioned the location of the money to pay those employees.
During the meeting, Didier recommended business owners to stand up against the current regulations. “I would encourage the businesses to perform a peaceful protest and open their business.”
The commissioners will now wait for a response from the state. Benton County submitted its application on Tuesday.