Bipartisan support to allocate $100 million for COVID-19

Day 51 of 60 of the 2020 session of the Washington Legislature in Olympia.

Bipartisan support to allocate $100 million for COVID-19

2020 Washington Legislature, Day 51 of 60

Everett Herald political reporter Jerry Cornfield: | @dospueblos

Want this in your inbox Monday-Friday? Subscribe here.

OLYMPIA, March 3, 2020 — Nine days. That’s all that’s left in the 2020 session.

There’s much to do.

In the next four days, representatives and senators will be camped for hours on the House and Senate floors as they vote on dozens of bills, most of which will eventually become law.

• On Monday, the Senate Ways and Means Committee met for close to 13 hours (minus a meal or so) as they discussed and voted on darn near 100 bills. They adjourned shortly before 11 p.m. after advancing legislation for new restrictions on sales of vapor products. The amended version of Senate Bill 6254 includes a ban on the sale of disposable vapor products and a prohibition of online sales of flavored vapor products.

• What’s the emergency? That question came up when the same Senate panel considered a bill allowing sports betting at tribal casinos. Seems the House added an emergency clause and two Republican senators, John Braun and Ann Rivers, wanted to amend it out. The Democrat-controlled committee voted it down. If the bill becomes law with the clause, voters will be blocked from trying to overturn it.

Coronavirus watch: It is and will continue to get worse. On Monday, we learned the death toll had risen to six in Washington as Gov. Jay Inslee called on state lawmakers to provide $100 million in the supplemental budget to cover the costs of state agencies and local health districts responding to COVID-19.

Sen. Steve O’Ban dropped a bill to get the $100 million out of the Rainy Day Fund. Rep. Eileen Cody introduced legislation to withdraw $50 million from the emergency reserves. There’s strong bipartisan support to act swiftly.

“It is my goal to avoid this being a partisan, nasty debate about doing the right thing,” said Senate Minority Leader Mark Schoesler. “I am not going to argue about the amount of money we spend to protect public safety and keep commerce going in this state.”

Meaanwhile, in the other Washington, the U.S. Senate health committee will hold a hearing on the federal response early Tuesday. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the panel, is preparing some tough questions for those in charge of the effort.

What we’re writing and reading

• The reality that novel coronavirus is frightening, deadly and lurking at the front door was evident Monday in the empty parking lots at Mariner and Henry M. Jackson high schools in Snohomish County, report Andrea Brown, Ben Watanabe and Eric Stevick of The Herald.

• Coronavirus is affecting pretty much everyone’s way of life in some fashion. Seattle Times reporters Paige Cornwell and Gina Cole pulled together a collection of stories on Monday.

• One Democratic presidential candidate who is still competing is Michael Bloomberg. Rebecca R. Ruiz and Jeremy W. Peters of The New York Times write about how his organization is like no other in politics.

What’s happening

• It’s Super Tuesday and voters in 15 states cast ballots in presidential primaries. It’s not as super as it could be, since three Democratic candidates dropped out in the last four days.

•The floor marathon begins: The Senate convenes at 9 a.m. and the House convenes at 10 a.m. There will be periods of voting broken up by caucus breaks. This pattern should persist through Friday, which is the cutoff for action on bills passed by the opposite chamber, except matters necessary to implement the budget.

• At 10 a.m., Informed Parents of Washington will hold a rally on the steps of the Capitol against passage of a comprehensive sex ed bill.

Legislative agendas, schedules and calendars


Non-profit TVW covers state government in Olympia and selected events statewide. Programs are available for replay on the internet, and the channel is widely available on Washington cable systems.

TVW schedule | Current and recent video | Archives | Shows


Contact your legislator | District lookup | Bill lookup

Legislature home | House | Senate

Caucuses: House Democrats | House Republicans | Senate Democrats | Senate Republicans

Office of the Governor

Laws and agency rules

Beat reporters: Jerry Cornfield (Herald) | Rachel La Corte (AP) | Joseph O’Sullivan (Times) | Jim Brunner (Times) | Melissa Santos (Crosscut) | Jim Camden (Spokesman-Review) | Austin Jenkins (NW News Network) | James Drew (News Tribune)

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - In this photo taken Oct. 2, 2018, semi-automatic rifles fill a wall at a gun shop in Lynnwood, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee is joining state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to propose limits to magazine capacity and a ban on the sale of assault weapons. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Democrats advance assault weapons ban, new rules for gun buyers

The measures passed a House committee without Republican support. They are part of a broader agenda to curb gun violence.

A person and child watch seagulls on the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry in Washington on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Cold weather returning to Western Washington

Nightly temperatures in the 20s with highs in the 30s were expected this weekend. Cold weather shelters will be open.

Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times
Former VA-115 member Jack Keegan speaks at a presentation on base commemorating the last crew from NAS Whidbey Island shot down during the Vietnam War.
Whidbey Island air base honors crew lost in Vietnam War

NAS Whidbey Island will host several upcoming events commemorating the end of the Vietnam War.

New Monroe superintendent Shawn Woodward during his panel interview on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 in Monroe, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Incoming superintendent says he’s ‘done homework on Monroe’

Shawn Woodward has faced issues of racism, equity and inclusion as the leader of the Mead School District near Spokane.

James Lewis
COVID still ‘simmering’ in the county, while booster uptake remains low

Meanwhile, flu and RSV cases have plummeted, suggesting the “tripledemic” could — emphasis on “could” — be fading.

Everett police have made an arrest in a Saturday shooting at Player's Sports Bar & Grill. (Everett Police Department)
Charges: Everett bar shooting suspect faces up to 50 years in prison

Francisco Cuahutemoc Vazquez has a violent history that dates to 2015, when he was involved in gangs.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring is this year's winner of the Henry M. Jackson Award given by Economic Alliance Snohomish County. Photographed in Marysville, Washington on April 25, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Marysville State of the City address set for Feb. 1

Mayor Jon Nehring will highlight 2022 accomplishments and look to the future. Questions from the audience will follow.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A move to require voting and a bicameral chasm on vehicle pursuits

It’s Day 19 and the mood is heating up as the third week of the 2023 legislative session comes to an end.

Lynnwood County Council candidate Joshua Binda is the subject of two complaints with the Public Disclosure Commission. (Josh Binda campaign photo)
Binda fined $1,000 for misuse of campaign contributions

The Lynnwood Council member’s personal use of donor funds was a “serious violation” of campaign law, the state PDC concluded.

Most Read