Checking in on this Fantastic Friday
While we sit and reflect at the end of another week, we all owe a great deal of thanks to Governor Jay Inslee and Superintendant Chris Reykdal for making the difficult, but necessary, decision to close all K-12 schools for the rest of the school year. Closing our schools is an example of community taking care of community. We are working hard in the Legislature and with the Governor’s Office to provide rural broadband, support to school systems, to provide educational material to all.
With big heavy hearts, many of us are with the youth as they try to make sense of the loss of their school year. We feel the strain and stress upon our families. Many of our schools superintendents, parents and communities all raise our hands to the students who will miss their last year of sports, band, theater, and other school activities. There is so much appreciation for the thoughtfulness of reminding the seniors, we are not cancelling your graduations, but postponing this monumental time in your lives. We are so proud of our students of all ages.
Washington state, local, and tribal governments have come together and responded in the face of adversity to protect the people. We have made some hard decision together to keep our families and loved ones safe, and it starts with the front line workers who put their lives on the line everyday for us. This means we have to do our part and support one another to stay home. We will rebuild our lives, economies and communities together.
Let us remember to take care one another, and reach out and help those in need of assistance. We are witnessing kindness across the state and nation. Whether is the Food Fighers of Spokane, the Riverter’s Mask Making, Representative Shewmake’s meals to Nurses, or Samish Island checking in with neighbors, we are all thinking of one another. We will continue to support one another through these trying times. Keep reading for some updates on the 40th LD, and Washington Sate.
“Stay Healthy, State Safe,”
RELIEF FUNDING FOR WASHINGTON STATE
The recently passed federal relieve package (the CARES Act) provides a tremendous amount of support to state and local programs across the country. It will serve as a great first step towards recovery efforts at every level, but more action will certainly be needed as we fight to get to the other side of this virus. I will continue to work on your behalf to ensure that we recieve the support we need to come through this together.
Washington State is expected to recieve the following funding from the CARES Act:
From the State Coronavirus Relief Fund: $1.62 billion for the state government and $1.33 billion for local governments. This funding goes directly to oru state and local public health systems, personal protective equipment, human services, and more;
From the Child Care Development Block Grant: $58.2 million toward helping childcare providers;
From the Community Services Block Grant: $11.8 million for local, community based organizations providing social services and emergency assistance to those with the highest need;
From the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program: $11.1 million to help those who need assistance paying utility bills;
From the Education Stabilization Fund: $56.6 million, along with $216.9 million for elementary and secondary education, to help schools purchase technology to support online learning, plan and coordinate school closures, and other emergency needs that result from COVID-19.
The Washington State Department of Commerce also has a number of grants that wil be given out to small businesses! Check out this site to learn more about the application process – you can find your county on teh right hand side of the page.
UPCOMING (VIRTUAL!) EVENTS WITH DEBRA
As a way to bring our community together, I’m hosting a Tele-Coffee with Debra on Tuesday, April 14 from 8:30 to 9:00 AM with Mt. Vernon Mayor Jill Boudreau and Skagit County Commissioner Lisa Janicki. We’d love to see you there! We’ll be using Zoom Webinar, and you can register here.
I’ll also be hosting additional Tele-Coffees and virtual roundtables over the coming weeks, so if you’re unable to join me this Tuesday we’ll have plenty of chances to connect in the near future.
On April 30th I’ll be officially (virtually) launching my re-election campaign! You can register to join me here, and the event will be lived streamed on Facebook as well.
What are the top issues you’d like to discuss on future tele-coffee’s and virtual roundtables? Email us at email@example.com!
A Heartfelt Thank You
While so many of us do our part by staying home and staying healthy, there are a great number of people in our community who go out each and every day to provide the services that are essential to our every day life. We owe these people a deep sense of gratitude, and should thank them every chance we get.
Click here to hear more of my thoughts about our first responders and essential workers.