Led by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, and U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA, 6th), Friday the entire Washington state Congressional Delegation sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar requesting swift implementation of the $100 billion in Public Health and Social Services Emergency Funding (PHSSEF), made available for HHS to distribute by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to support hospitals, health systems, and health care providers in Washington state and across the country. Additionally, the Delegation requested that areas hardest hit by the virus, such as Washington state, are prioritized as funding is distributed. Senator Murray and Representative Kilmer were joined by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), as well as U.S. Representatives Adam Smith (D-WA, 9th), Rick Larsen (D-WA, 2nd), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA, 5th), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA, 3rd), Suzan K. DelBene (D-WA, 1st), Denny Heck (D-WA, 10th), Dan Newhouse (R-WA, 4th), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA, 7th), and Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-WA, 8th) in the letter.
Facing a growing fiscal threat posed by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, Gov. Jay Inslee used his line-item veto authority today to trim $235 million from the 2020 supplemental operating budget the Legislature approved last month. The vetoes will reduce spending another $210 million in the state’s next two-year budget.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced a month-long extension of his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” emergency order Thursday evening. The order, which banned all gatherings and temporarily shuttered non-essential businesses, will continue through May 4.
Fatalities from distracted driving are down in Washington, reported the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) during Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which traditionally begins in April. Recent data from WTSC show a decrease in distraction-related fatalities since 2017, when the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act (E-DUI) went into effect.
In 2016, the year before the law passed, 155 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver. In 2019, two years after the new law, 33 fewer distracted driving-related deaths occurred.
New claims for unemployment benefits soared to a record 181,975 for the week of March 22-28, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD). This represents a 3,513% increase year over year, and a 41% increase over the previous week. By comparison, this is seven times the peak week during the 2008/2009 recession which was 26,075 weekly initial claims. Including the ongoing weekly claims that were filed, ESD saw roughly 350,000 claims come into its claims center last week.
The number of claims in Mason County went from 865 claims during the week of 3/15/2020 to 3/21/2020 to 1,178 claims last week (3/22/2020 to 3/28/2020).
Mason County Public Health was notified Wednesday, April 1, 2020 of five additional Mason County residents who tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 11 positive cases of the coronavirus in the County.
Mason County Public Health is conducting contact interviews at this time. The patients are currently isolating at home. Case information is as follows:
• Female in 40’s
• Male in 40’s
• Male in 70’s
• Female in 70’s
• Female in 60’s
Mason County PUD No. 1 received notice from the Washington State Department of Health that five capital water projects submitted by the PUD in November of 2019 were chosen for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loans, totaling nearly $600,000. Three of these projects qualified for a 100% loan forgiveness subsidy, including the Bay East water system manganese treatment project at $88,559, the Lake Arrowhead water system manganese treatment project at $304,500, and also the Lake Arrowhead mainline replacement project at $162,019.
On Thursday,April 2 at 4:00pm PT, Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) will hold a Facebook Live town hall with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Regional Administrator Jeremy Field, who leads the economic development, small business initiatives and program operations for the SBA Pacific Northwest Region X – which serves Washington state. Rep. Kilmer and Administrator Field will discuss new resources approved by Congress to address Washington state’s growing economic challenges, discuss how small businesses can access economic relief, and answer questions from constituents.