One week in - the 2021 legislative session is underway and 13th District State Representative Tom Dent is experiencing all the challenges of running his office and conducting the people's business from long-social-distance.

Representative Dent says the legislature gave up it's leverage and responsibility when it voted along party lines to extend the Governor's emergency powers until such time he's ready to give them up.

You may recall when we spoke to other Republican lawmakers before the session they were hoping to to be able to wrestle some of the authority that belongs in their hands away from the Governor.  Clearly the Democrats are comfortable with abdicating their responsibility as the elected representatives of the people and leaving the power in the hands of Jay Inslee who is holed up in Olympia and not in the districts around the state and hearing directly from those most affected by the Covid restrictions. Dent contracted the Cpronavirus earlier this winter and even spent time in the hospital so he brings that unique perspective in his push to try to get Washington's businesses to be able to get back to work.

Representative Dent has a number of projects he hopes to work on but like most Republicans dwarfed by large Democrat majorities, a big part of his job is trying to hold the line on tax happy Democrats.

Dent was on KIT's Morning News as part of our weekly conversation with Eastern Washington lawmakers.