Monthly Archives: March 2020

Coronavirus Resources

March 18th, 2020|

Dear Friends and Neighbors of the 46th Legislative District,

My thoughts go out to you and your families as you work to keep yourselves and your families healthy during this coronavirus outbreak. We are all deeply saddened for the families who have suffered loss or who are currently suffering.

I’m sure that many of you are scared, worried and stressed as we all try to get through this unprecedented event. It can be hard in times like these to know where to turn, and where to find the most up-to-date and accurate information.

I wanted to share the website created by our state government to help keep all our communities informed. You can find it here:

This website contains a wealth of information from Governor Jay Inslee’s office, our state agencies, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more. I’ve included a lot of the helpful information – from tools for handling stress, to resources for our out-of-work neighbors, to tips for talking to kids. But I encourage you to explore this website for yourselves, and to pass it on to others in our community who have questions.

In addition, I have heard from many people who are being laid off from their hospitality and restaurant jobs as well as the owners of these establishments who are seeking assistance to cover payroll or otherwise maintain their business.   There is information further down on the SBA and other resources that should become available, I hope very shortly.

What to do if you are ill

If you are ill with fever and a cough or non-acute shortness of breath, stay home. If you are unsure of how to care for yourself or are concerned about your condition, call your health care provider for advice. If you feel you need to visit your doctor, call them first. Keep yourself separated from other people and animals in your home. Cover your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands often.

Leave some for your neighbor – don’t buy more than you need!

Washington State’s supply chains are operating normally, yet consumers are overstocking and clearing store shelves of the items that sick neighbors, doctors, dentists and emergency response personnel need to stay safe. Health experts emphasize the best way to protect yourself from infection is through washing your hands frequently and limiting contact with others, not by overstocking certain supplies. Leave some for the folks who need them most!

Supporting affected employers and workers

State agencies have been working with federal agencies, employers and workers to support businesses and workers affected by COVID-19.

Resources for you and your family

Stopping the spread of coronavirus is an effort we all play a part in. Learn how to protect and care for yourself and your family, cope with feelings of isolation or anxiety, determine whether you or a loved one is at higher risk from COVID-19, and find resources to get the care you need.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email or phone. While my staff and I are practicing social distancing and working from home, we are monitoring calls that come into our Olympia office line: 360-786-7690.

Please keep yourselves, your families and your neighbors safe and healthy.


Legislature passes capital budget prioritizing homelessness, environment, school construction

March 12th, 2020|

The Legislature passed a supplemental capital budget that makes strong investments in housing, shelter, environmental cleanup and school construction.

The budget first passed yesterday in the state House of Representatives on a unanimous vote, then passed the state Senate today on a unanimous vote.

“Our capital budget continues our strong investments in housing, homelessness and behavioral health,” said Senate capital budget lead Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle). “Schools around the state will receive significant funding, as will many of our colleges and universities. Supplemental budges are always much smaller than in main budget years, but the funds we’re investing will go a long way in improving the lives of Washingtonians.”

“This is about tackling emerging needs, including the housing and homelessness crisis, behavioral health and child care,” said House capital budget lead Rep. Steve Tharinger (D-Port Townsend). “It’s a bipartisan budget that will create jobs and build a better future for people in every corner of the state of Washington.”

The budget invests $13.8 million to help alleviate homelessness, with $7.8 million dedicated to improving shelter capacity around the state. A new competitive grant program for the development of community housing to assist people experiencing homelessness receives $5 million, and the remaining $1 million goes to a pilot project to preserve manufactured and mobile homes.

These investments in housing and alleviating homelessness compliment a $160 million investment included in the supplemental operating budget. The investments also build upon last year’s biennial capital budget, which invested record sums in housing and behavioral health treatment facilities.

The budget invests $33.7 million in toxics cleanup, using funds generated by a measure passed during the 2019 legislative session. This bill sponsored by Frockt changed the way petroleum companies are taxed under the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). An additional $5 million in MTCA revenue is provided in the budget to assist local government with stormwater projects.

School construction projects receive $25.9 million statewide, and an additional $13.2 million is included for seismic safety improvements in K-12 schools.

The following distressed school grants are also included in the supplemental capital budget

  • $700,000 at John Muir Elementary School in Seattle Public Schools for a two-classroom preschool addition
  • $300,000 at Lowell Elementary School in Seattle Public Schools for conversion of two classrooms to a new health clinic
  • $328,000 for an agricultural resource center in Tacoma Public Schools
  • $200,000 for Tacoma Schoolyard Park in Tacoma Public Schools
  • $309,000 for a school-based health center at a Port Orchard school in South Kitsap School District
  • $100,000 for predesign and scoping work for a high school replacement project in Republic
  • $1million for a project in the Mount Adams School District

A list of school modernization grants can be found here.

In early learning, the capital budget invests $4.2 million in matching grants and loans to purchase, construct, or modernize facilities. An additional $3 million is provided for specific projects.

Higher education investments include:

  • $20 million for the first phase of the Spokane Falls Community College fine and applied arts facility.
  • $4 million for design of the life sciences building at the Washington State University Vancouver campus.
  • $1 million for predesign of the Magnuson Health Sciences replacement facility at the University of Washington.