Washington State House Democrats


Thursday, April 29

Dramatic clouds frame the dome during the final day of the legislative session at the Washington state Capitol in Olympia on April 25. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

Washington Legislature approves $340M for COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund, making it one of the country’s largest
Washington’s Immigrant Relief Fund got an enormous boost this week when the Legislature approved $340 million in additional funding. That brings the total allocated so far, first by Gov. Jay Inslee and then by the Legislature, to $467 million — believed to make this the second-largest fund of its kind in the country, behind New York’s. Continue reading at The Seattle Times. (Bettina Hansen)

A grass-covered courtyard of an apartment complex is surrounded by multi-story buildings with white railings.

Washington state creates permanent rental assistance program
The idea of rental assistance — the government stepping in to pay people’s rent to prevent them from losing their home — is not new, but it has taken on a new prominence and urgency in the pandemic, as billions of federal dollars have helped pull tenants out from under mounting debt. Now, Washington state is making that policy permanent. Continue reading at The Bellingham Herald. (Steve Bloom)

From top left, clockwise: Community members attend an informational session with Howard alumni at Black Voices’ HBCU event last year. (Curtis Campbell) Kellogg Middle School Assistant Principal Melyssa Stone. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut) Students attend a performance of Derrick Barnes’ book “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut,” put on by Book-It Repertory Theatre. (Curtis Campbell) Tanisha Brandon-Felder, director of equity and family engagement at Shoreline School District. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

WA schools catching up on Black history and ethnic studies
Washington state Rep. Jesse Johnson, D-Federal Way, doesn’t remember learning about Black history until the seventh grade. He recalls studying about slavery, but says most of the Black history he was taught “came in little pieces, it wasn’t that in-depth.” He wouldn’t really learn Black history until college at the University of Washington, where he majored in African American history. Continue reading at Crosscut. (Dorothy Edwards)


Associated Press
Pacific Northwest faces shutdowns amid rising virus cases
Despite snow, rain, Pacific Northwest faces drought
Washington State University to require COVID-19 vaccine
Lawsuit filed to block new Washington capital gains tax
Over 200 Seattle police officers quit amid nation protests
Amazon to raise pay for more than 500,000 workers
US economy accelerated at a robust 6.4% rate last quarter

Aberdeen Daily World
GHC student union building and Y child care in state budget
Sen. Jeff Wilson joins Senate Freedom Caucus

Bellingham Herald (subscription required)
Washington state creates permanent rental assistance program (Mullet, Hobbs, Macri, Ormsby, Robinson)
WA state tops 400,000 COVID-19 cases, according to figures released Wednesday
Whatcom providers request fewer COVID vaccine doses this week — is demand running out?
Whatcom’s growing COVID case and hospitalization rates have health department ‘concerned’
These Washington college campuses will require COVID vaccine for fall semester
See how many people in WA have been vaccinated — and how to make your appointment
Biden team advances COVID-19 workplace mask rules after Democrats demand explanation
Pfizer, Moderna vaccines cut COVID hospitalizations by 94% in older adults, CDC finds

Concern grows as vaccinations in Clark County slow down
Clark County COVID-19 activity rate jumps 34 percent
WSU to require COVID-19 vaccination proof this fall
In Our View: Overtime for agricultural workers overdue

El Sol De Yakima (available in English via Google Translate)
New Immigrant Assistance Fund Now Available in Washington
Enforcement of Real ID postponed until May 3, 2023
Community Vaccination Center opens until 8 pm, several mobile vaccination clinics
Guitarist Dave Navarro speaks about mother’s death from domestic violence at the Yakima YWCA event

Everett Herald (subscription required)
Fake coronavirus test sites pop up in Edmonds
WSU Everett is requiring students and staff to be vaccinated
What we know: Washington coronavirus outbreak at a glance
Commentary: Weighing risks, benefits favors getting vaccine
WaPo Comment: 50-year effort haven’t slowed sales of weapons of war

High Country News
How the West has changed since the last census

The Inlander
The pandemic forced the region’s colleges and K-12 schools to ditch standardized tests. Some hope the change is permanent

New York Times
U.S. Economy Rebounds as Pain Caused by Pandemic Eases: Live Updates
At 100 Days, Biden Is Transforming What It Means to Be a Democrat
Did the 2020 Census Undercount the Hispanic Population?
Biden Directs Education Funding to Community Colleges, a Key Lifeline

Peninsula Daily News
Health officers: New masking guidelines good reason to get vaccine

Puget Sound Business Journal
Expedia survey says Americans are itching to travel again
Starbucks expects US customers to make their morning coffee runs again
How employers should proceed with ‘the vaccination question’
Boeing suffers big commercial airplane sales drop, charge on Air Force One jets

Seattle Times (subscription required)
At some Seattle-area vaccination sites, COVID vaccine supply is outpacing demand
Unvaccinated people 65 and up hospitalized with COVID nearly 10 times more often, says Washington state
Washington Legislature approves $340M for COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund, making it one of the country’s largest (Saldaña, Harris-Talley)
Amazon’s algorithms promote extremist misinformation, report says
Bothell man accused of fatally stabbing a stranger is charged with second-degree murder
WSU, a few of Washington’s private colleges to require that students get vaccinated against COVID-19
Prosecutors from across Washington will examine police killing of Clark County man
Seattle-area Indian community mobilizes to help India as COVID devastates the country
Washington state officials propose toolkit to help people with mental health, addiction issues find housing
Editorial: The light of the free press dims in West Seattle

Skagit Valley Herald
Workforce issues affecting behavioral health care
County may again consider fully contained communities

Spokesman Review
Biden’s plan to make community college tuition free could help Northwest students, local administrators say
Spokane County will likely move back to Phase 2 next week
Washington State University to require COVID-19 vaccine for students, employees but also allow exemptions

Washington Post
Biden, in speech to Congress, offers sweeping agenda and touts democracy

Yakima Herald Republic
Officials encourage vaccinations as latest numbers may push Yakima County back to Phase 2


Western Washington business owners, industry leaders fear return of Phase 2 restrictions
‘Still a joke’: Washington lawmakers say Employment Security Department’s fraud fixes aren’t enough (Pollet)
Nearly 100 infected with COVID-19 at super-spreader event in Eastern Washington
Washington labs track which COVID-19 variants are driving rising cases
What are the chances of a fourth stimulus check after Biden’s address to Congress

Pacific Northwest faces shutdowns amid rising virus cases
WSU to require on-campus students to be vaccinated for COVID-19
New tool could help track health, safety of Southern Resident orcas
Over 200 Seattle police officers quit amid national protests

‘It’s a bit of a shock:’ Business accused of refusing service to Seattle police officer 
No appointment needed at 2 King County COVID vaccination sites
Police investigate fake COVID-19 testing sites in Edmonds
Severe illnesses, infections spreading rapidly through King County homeless camps
‘It’s time to fix it’: Biden urges action on immigration, other priorities

Biden Tells Congress His Administration Is ‘Delivering Real Results’
Lawsuit filed to overturn Washington capital gains tax (Sullivan)

Biden’s Address To Congress, Annotated
Pandemic blog: Covid-related updates for the Northwest
Bigger Role For Government Doesn’t Mean It’s ‘In Your Business,’ Says Biden Aide
Despite vaccine rollout progress, more counties brace for a rollback to Phase 2
April 28 | Considering intellectual property waivers and global vaccine solutions

‘This is a bump in the road’: Spokane County likely headed back to Phase 2 next week

Q13 TV (Fox)
‘It’s like paying rent’: Childcare in Washington ranked 8th most expensive in nation
Washington state facing shutdowns, Phase rollbacks as coronavirus cases rise
More unusual COVID-19 testing locations pop up in Snohomish County
Amid pandemic, UW still sees increase in admissions applications
Pierce County Council pausing investigation of Sheriff Ed Troyer as AG examines case
Washington State University to require COVID vaccinations for students, employees
King County likely rolling back to Phase 2 of state’s COVID-19 reopening plan


Civic Skunkworks
In a Historic Session, Washington State Lawmakers Made Huge Progress Toward a More Equitable Future

Facebook group in WA wants to help you get a vaccine appointment
WA schools catching up on Black history and ethnic studies (Johnson)
Opinion: Compassion Seattle has a plan for a tent-free city. Does it hold up?

West Seattle Blog
Alki sewer overflow blamed on ‘old infrastructure’