Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you are staying safe and healthy. I wanted to take a few minutes to invite you to join me for a telephone town hall and provide an update on the coronavirus situation.
Telephone town hall to discuss COVID-19 emergency
Please join me for a 26th District telephone town hall. I want to hear your questions and comments about the coronavirus emergency, the governor's orders, how this has affected you and your family, and how we can work together toward economic recovery and restoring our lives. Call me tomorrow, Thursday, April 30 between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. at (360) 499-8353. Press the * (star key) to ask a question. I look forward to talking with you and your 26th District neighbors.
Governor will extend 'Stay Home, Stay Healthy' order past May 4
During a press conference this afternoon in Olympia, Gov. Inslee announced he will extend his current “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order past May 4. He also added that he will reveal Friday a detailed explanation of a phased-in approach to reopening the economy. He was not clear how long the order would be extended or what changes would be made.
Today marks 100 days since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Washington. On Monday, it will have been 43 days that Gov. Inslee's stay-home order has been in effect.
I share the same frustration as citizens who have called my office. Many people are concerned the governor has not articulated a detailed plan about how to get Washington's economy restarted, nor has he given any indication about how long everyone will be required to stay home. Republicans in the Legislature put forward a Safe Economic Restart Plan on April 17. You can view it here.
The governor has made some small concessions in his orders. He's allowing construction projects previously underway to be completed and is opening some recreational opportunities on May 5. Other states, including most recently, Colorado, have outlined plans to safely reopen in May. If Gov. Inslee is to ensure public support and adherence to his stay-home extension, he needs to also provide a solid, ongoing plan, along with the best estimated timelines, to safely reopen our state – including businesses. Hopefully, he will outline a detailed plan on Friday, as he mentioned in today's press conference.
Our legislative leaders are also discussing the possibility of a special session to make further appropriations, although they have not yet decided on a date. Many think it may happen sometime after the state's revenue forecast is released June 17.
Here are three helpful links to provide COVID-19 information and resources:
- Coronavirus Information and Resources (House Republicans)
- Washington State Department of Health
- National Conference of State Legislatures – Federal Action
Session newsletter updates
Several days ago, I sent a mailer to citizens across the 26th District providing a look back at the 2020 legislative session, which finished March 12. During the 60-day session, the Legislature passed supplemental operating, transportation and capital budgets. The governor also signed my bill into law that will ensure mental health care providers get proper rate reimbursements from the state, rather than insurance companies keeping those increases. This will ensure access continues for our behavioral care providers. You can read all about these and more issues in my 2020 Legislative Report.
If you are a senior citizen, I also invite you to read my 2020 Senior Update. It provides information about how you might be able to save money on your property taxes, as well as links to help you see if you are eligible for a federal stimulus check.
I am fighting for you!
Throughout this COVID-19 emergency, I have been involved in dozens of conference calls with the governor's office, state agency officials, legislative leaders and other lawmakers as we discuss how best to protect the public, provide assistance and plan ahead on how to best move forward on reopening Washington state.
My office stands ready to help with your questions on this or other state government and legislative issues. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, your concerns are important to me. Please contact me anytime. My phone number, address and email address are provided below.
Thank you for the honor of allowing me to proudly serve and represent you!