Legislative session ends on time, provides funds for homelessness, transportation

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A short but intense 60-day legislative session ended Thursday evening with lawmakers taking action on a number of the governor’s priorities, including more than $170 million for services to address the state’s homeless crisis. The Legislature also provided funds for crucial transportation needs; approved changes to a Boeing tax incentive that will help the state avoid international tariffs; took some steps on legislation to address climate change; and passed bills that will improve social equity statewide.

The Legislature also fully funded the governor’s request of $200 million to address the coronavirus outbreak in Washington. Lawmakers voted unanimously to approve HB 2965, which provides $200 million from state reserves to help the state, local governments and federally recognized tribes respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. The funds will be used to slow the outbreak, test for the virus and help with treatment for more severe cases of respiratory illness.

There are resources available for businesses to help alleviate the unemployment tax impact of COVID-19 through the Employment Security Department. It also modifies the job search requirements for workers on unemployment benefits while they are quarantined.

“I am pleased the Legislature agreed with my plan to tackle homelessness and provide sheltering for some of our most vulnerable people. There was good progress made on a number of fronts during this supplemental budget year,” Inslee said. “However, I am disappointed that the Legislature failed to act on other important pieces of climate legislation as well as public safety legislation that would have reduced gun violence in Washington. While I wish they would have gone farther on a number of important issues, I thank the Legislature for their work on behalf of Washingtonians.”

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

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