OLYMPIA, WA - On Friday Governor Jay Inslee signed off on three COVID-19 bills, including House Bill 1368, set to provide $2.2 billion dollars in relief to Washingtonians.
"Today I am signing House Bill 1368, which is taking early action by the legislature, that I appreciate, to provide a relief, a recovery and resilience to help Washingtonians across these troubled waters during the COVID pandemic," said Inslee.
The bill allows for $2.2 billion dollars of federal funding to move through the state immediately, and the money will be divided among different industries.
According to the state $714 million dollars will go to K through 12 schools, giving them the most funding.
Another $618 million will go towards public health to help with COVID-19 vaccines and testing.
Emergency eviction and rental assistance programs will also receive $365 million, and $240 million will be put aside for business grants.
The remaining $234 million dollars will be split among child care relief, food banks, income assistance for residents, and help for immigrants families in the state.
Democratic Senator, Christine Rolfes helped sponsor the bill and says, "We are early disturbing the federal funds that were sent to us by Congress... rather than waiting for the budget process to continue we’re getting the money out now, instead of waiting until May. This is going to provide a critical link to landlords and renters for preventing homeless, and making sure the Department of Health has the resources it needs right now."
During the press conference Inslee also signed off on two additional bills; the first, House Bill 1095 will make sure individuals and businesses don't have to pay state taxes on COVID-19 emergency grants.
The second House Bill 1367 will modify COVID-19 costs to help Medicaid patients in long term living facilities.