Inslee issues, updates COVID-19 proclamations

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Gov. Jay Inslee today issued a new proclamation delaying implementation of the Uniform Guardianship Act. He also extended two proclamations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proclamation 20-84: Delaying Repeal of RCW 26.10

This proclamation delays the implementation of the Uniform Guardianship Act (RCW 26.10) as it relates third party custody of minors. The new law was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2021, but courts have not been able to prepare for the transition due to the backlog of cases caused by COVID-19. Without this delayed implementation, superior courts would be required to reconsider all pending third-party custody cases under the new law, which would delay permanent placement for the affected minors and further strain the capacity of the courts.

This delay in implementation was requested by the Superior Court Judges Association (SCJA). Washington State Senator Jamie Pedersen, who sponsored the relevant bill (ESSB 6287), agrees the delay is necessary. The SCJA and Sen. Pedersen were both consulted on this proclamation.

The full proclamation is available here.

Legislative Proclamation Extensions

Gov. Inslee also extended two proclamations related to shared work requirements and family emergency assistance. The extensions were approved by the legislature in a December 28 letter.

Also in the December 28 letter, the Washington State House Republican Caucus declined to extend Proclamation 20-21, which waives the waiting week for unemployed workers receiving their first week of job loss benefits. Without this proclamation individuals filing new claims will have to wait longer to receive their benefits and Washington will no longer be able to seek federal reimbursement for 50% of an individual's first week of benefits. This will not impact individuals currently receiving benefits.

"I am disappointed to hear House Republicans rejected the request for extension and added a delay for newly unemployed workers to receive their first week of job loss benefits," Inslee said. "Their actions harm Washington workers at a time when they need this support the most. It's also disappointing that their actions leave federal money on the table, money that could make a substantive difference for people in our state.”

Proclamation 20-58.8 and Proclamation 20-63.7 are both extended through January 4, 2021.

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