Farmers sue state over COVID-19 rules for migrant workers

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Two farm groups are suing the state of Washington for failing to revise emergency regulations that seek to protect migrant farmworkers from the COVID-19 virus. The groups filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Yakima County Superior Court. It seeks to invalidate the recently renewed rules as arbitrary, capricious and not feasible. John Stuhlmiller, chief executive officer of the Washington Farm Bureau, says farmers had no choice but to file the lawsuit. The state Department of Health renewed the emergency rules, first adopted last spring, for the third time on Jan. 8. The lawsuit, against the Department of Health and the Department of Labor & Industries, contends many of the state’s emergency regulations for farmers are unworkable.