We just wrapped up our fourth week of the 2021 mostly remote legislative session and I have big news to share regarding $4 billion in COVID-19 economic relief on the way to Washingtonians.

$1.7 Billion in unemployment benefit increases and business premium decreases

Washington businesses were about to face massive unemployment insurance premium increases due to the pandemic-related layoffs. This would have put an unnecessary strain on so many small businesses that are already struggling to get by.

Headline from the Olympian: Bill with relief for Washington businesses, unemployed workers heads to governor’s desk

Lawmakers approved a bill that will provide $1.7 billion in economic relief for Washington businesses on their upcoming unemployment insurance tax bill. The bill also increases the weekly minimum benefit to help our lowest-wage workers while they’re looking for other employment opportunities. Governor Inslee will be signing this bill into law on Monday.

As always, if you need any help navigating the unemployment claim process or if you’ve filed a claim that’s stuck in the process, please reach out to me for help.

$2.2 Billion in Economic Aid  

Headline from Spokesman Review: Washington House passes $2.2 billion COVID-19 relief package, heads to Senate this week

The Senate is just days away from passing HB 1368, which is a $2.2 billion investment in schools, vaccines, housing, small business grants, food assistance, and childcare. This relief money will go directly to people, small businesses, schools, public health organizations, rental assistance programs, and others most impacted by the pandemic.

In just four weeks, the Legislature has approved nearly $4 billion in economic relief for WashingtoniansThese two bills are just the first of many that I expect will be approved by lawmakers this year to help people get back on their feet. I’ll keep you posted with this e-newsletter and my other channels as additional progress is made on those efforts.

Blood Donations

One of my favorite parts of this job is when constituents reach out to me with really great ideas. That was the case a few years ago when Grace Griffin of Lynnwood shared her story with me.

Grace’s grandmother was diagnosed with aplastic anemia and needed platelet donations as part of her treatment. Grace was willing to donate but wasn’t allowed to due to a limitation in state law.

I have a bill, SB 5179, that will allow people ages 16 and 17 to donate blood through apheresis with parent or guardian permission.

The bill was approved by the Senate Health & Long Term Care committee this week and is now eligible for a full vote of the Senate.

Click on the picture below to watch Grace’s compelling testimony.

TVW Screen grab of Grace Griffin testifying in committee in support of SB 5179

Live with Liias!

If you missed our last Live With Liias! featuring my good friend, Sen. Emily Randall, be sure to check it out. We had a great time discussing her new caucus leadership role, how we’re navigating the remote session, and her recent experience of becoming a new homeowner.

You can check it out here or by clicking on the thumbnail below.

Thumbnail image of Sen. Marko Liias and Sen. Emily Randall promoting Live with Liias!

I’ll host another Live With Liias! in a few weeks, so be sure to follow my Facebook page to stay up-to-date on our upcoming broadcasts.

How to reach me?

As always, your ideas are important to me. You can stay in touch several ways:



Marko Liias
State Senator
21st Legislative District