Inslee Taps Feds for $2.2 Billion in Relief Funds

February 19, 2021 by TWN Staff
Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee addresses the media. (Karen Ducey/Getty Images/TNS)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday approved the appropriation of $2.2 billion federal funding earmarked to help move the state from COVID-19 pandemic to a lasting recovery.

House Bill 1368, which the governor signed Friday afternoon, draws from a pool of funding the federal government allocated to the states to help them cope with the ongoing health emergency.

“Our focus this year is relief, recovery and resilience, and this legislation will help us make tremendous progress in all of those areas. Washingtonians have been exemplary in helping limit the spread of COVID-19, but it has not come without its economic and emotional costs,” Inslee said. “The process of getting to a post-pandemic era has already begun, and we will come out of this stronger because of legislation like what I am signing today.”

In December, Inslee asked the Legislature to act early on COVID relief legislation, and the Legislature responded with HB 1368, which addresses a host of needs facing Washingtonians right now.

The bill provides: 

  • $714 million in assistance for K-12 schools
  • $618 million for public health’s response to COVID, including testing, investigation and contact tracing; and funding for vaccination efforts
  • $365 million for emergency eviction, rental and utility assistance
  • $240 million for business assistance grants
  • $50 million for child care
  • $26 million for food banks and other food programs 
  • $91 million for income assistance, including $65 million for relief for the state’s immigrant population

The House legislation was sponsored by Rep. Timm Ormsby. Sen. Christine Rolfes sponsored companion legislation in the Senate. 

“Local communities have done their part to keep us all safe during this pandemic. This bill is just one step the Legislature will take this year to support those who are struggling most in our state,” said Ormsby, chair of the House Appropriations Committee. “As we approach the budgeting process, we are keeping our focus on investments that equitably address the needs in struggling communities and help families and small businesses get through this current stage of the pandemic.”

In The News

Health

Voting

In The States

League of Woman Voters Seek Redistricting Deadline Extension in Michigan
In The States
League of Woman Voters Seek Redistricting Deadline Extension in Michigan
June 13, 2021
by Dan McCue

The League of Women Voters of Michigan filed an amicus brief with the state's Supreme Court this week in support of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission's proposed extended timeline for adopting final redistricting plans. The commission was formed after a 2018 public referendum in which... Read More

Kansas Receives Gold Shovel Award
Economy
Kansas Receives Gold Shovel Award
June 11, 2021
by Brock Blasdell

The state of Kansas has been awarded Area Development Magazine’s prestigious Gold Shovel award in recognition of its successful year attracting high-value business investment. Over $6 billion in new business dollars and more than 26 thousand jobs have been created within the state of Kansas since... Read More

Public-Private Partnerships, Accurate Maps Should Drive US Broadband Deployment
Technology
Public-Private Partnerships, Accurate Maps Should Drive US Broadband Deployment
June 10, 2021
by Victoria Turner

In South Carolina, the state government is matching broadband service providers dollar-for-dollar if they build out networks to the identified unserved areas, said Andrew Rein, chief financial officer of telecommunications provider Hargray, Wednesday. And the need for accurately mapping these areas without access to high-speed broadband... Read More

Ciattarelli and McAuliffe Winners in Gubernatorial Primaries
In The States
Ciattarelli and McAuliffe Winners in Gubernatorial Primaries
June 9, 2021
by Brock Blasdell

Jack Ciattarelli, a moderate Republican from New Jersey, and Terry McAuliffe, an establishment Democrat from Virginia, both had strong victories in last night's gubernatorial primaries against their respective party’s political competition. Now in the last stretch of a race to the governor’s office, they face several... Read More

Ohio AG Yost Sues Google
In The States
Ohio AG Yost Sues Google
June 9, 2021
by Victoria Turner

COLUMBUS, Ohio - As Congress continues to grapple with whether high-speed internet should be considered essential infrastructure, as important as water and electricity, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost took an unprecedented step against Alphabet's Google yesterday. In what the AG's office statement describes as a "landmark... Read More

Virginia Teacher Reinstated After Dispute Over Transgender Students
Law
Virginia Teacher Reinstated After Dispute Over Transgender Students
June 8, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

A judge on Tuesday ordered a Leesburg, Va., elementary teacher reinstated in his job after he was suspended for refusing to address transgender and nonbinary students according to their gender preferences. Physical education teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross refused to address transgender and nonbinary girls as “she”... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top