Neighbors in the 34th,
We set off this session with the goal to pass a strong supplemental budget tackling homelessness, transportation, and countless community works projects in our communities. While these goals were all still met, the increasing public health crisis threatened by the coronavirus pandemic demanded an urgent response as well. In the final accounting, we appropriated $200 million.
$175 million of this aid will go to local and state response, with the remaining $25 million funding a coronavirus unemployment account and small business support. This is a scary and uncertain time, and we need to be looking out for our neighbors.
One thing is clear: hourly and lower wage workers will be hurt more by business closures and a lack of available shifts in the face of a struggling economy. These are the people that we were considering most when deciding how to respond. And this is reflected strongly in the final budget.
We also gave leeway to the State Board of Education to adjust graduation requirements for the class of 2020 so that this pandemic does not prevent a whole class of students from graduating.
This is a constantly changing situation, and I will work to keep you as up to date as possible throughout the weeks to come. In the meantime, if you have symptoms and do not have a doctor to call, you can call the King County coronavirus call center at 206-477-3977 or the Washington State Department of Health coronavirus call center at 1-800-525-0127.
Take care of yourselves and your families, and follow the advice of health officials and Governor Inslee.
Sen. Joe Nguyen
34th Legislative District