Washington State House Democrats


Tuesday, Jan. 11

Washington Lt. Gov. Denny Heck standing at the Senate podium

Washington lawmakers kick off mostly remote session
Lawmakers in Washington state have started a new legislative session amid the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and much of their work will be done remotely as leaders try to limit the possibility of exposure. Since Friday, three Democratic senators — Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig and Sens. John Lovick and Mark Mullet — announced they had tested positive for the coronavirus. Billig said he had no symptoms and Lovick described his symptoms as mild. Continue reading at The Associated Press. (Rachel La Corte)

Sunday saw record COVID cases in Washington state. Rate of COVID patients in ICU rising
COVID-19 continued its record-breaking pace through Washington over the weekend, based on data released by the state Department of Health on Monday. The state recorded 13,689 new cases Monday and 24 new deaths since Friday. The state reported 14,871 cases on Saturday and 19,150 cases on Sunday — a record high. As of Monday, statewide totals from the illness caused by the coronavirus were 978,680 cases and 10,028 deaths. Continue reading at The News Tribune.

Gov. Inslee to give State of the State address Tuesday
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is set to give his State of the State address to the state Legislature Tuesday at noon. Inslee is expected to discuss the state’s COVID-19 response and what he hopes the state Legislature will accomplish in this session…Washington’s 60-day legislative session began Monday. Lawmakers will convene and pass new laws or change old ones before the session adjourns on March 10. Continue reading at KING 5.


Associated Press
Snoqualmie Pass open; White Pass closes again in Washington
Washington lawmakers kick off mostly remote session (Billig, Bronoske, Jinkins, Lovick, Mullet, Trudeau)

Auburn Reporter
Washington Democrats introduce bills clarifying police reforms (Johnson, Rule, Bronoske)

Bainbridge Island Review
Legislature: Priorities are COVID, economy, climate, social services (Jinkins, Dhingra)

Bellingham Herald
With COVID cases on rise, Whatcom health department to open second isolation facility
Bellingham hospital reports 45% increase in COVID patients with record number over weekend
Strong wind, heavy rain forecast for Whatcom, raising threat of flooding
SSC proposing this change to its curbside recycling program in Bellingham
Bellingham hospital sees omicron’s ‘severity is very similar to what delta was causing’
COVID omicron variant will impact Bellingham meetings, remote workers

House Democrats introduce bills to clarify police reform measures (Johnson, Rule, Stonier, Goodman, Bronoske)
Washington schools chief: School closures likely in coming weeks
Opinion: In Our View: Criminalizing election falsehoods misguided

Everett Herald
They’re off and legislating, and doing it remotely again  (Donaghy, Jinkins, Billig, Lovick, Mullet, Trudeau)
County’s reported infections surpass earlier grim estimates
Schools in Marysville and elsewhere pivot as COVID spreads
60-day sprint: State lawmakers plan to fix what’s broken (Billig, Lovick)
What we know: Washington coronavirus outbreak at a glance
WaPo Comment: Danger of ignoring claims accusing Jews of genocide
Harrop Column: Vaccinated left to cope with impacts of unvaxxed
Editorial: Add your voice to Legislature’s 60-day session (Wicks, Robinson)

News Tribune
Sunday saw record COVID cases in Washington state. Rate of COVID patients in ICU rising

New York Times
Covid Live Updates: Over Half of Europe Could Be Infected in Next 2 Months, W.H.O. Says
Economists Pin More Blame on Tech for Rising Inequality
Biden Will Endorse Changing Senate Rules to Pass Voting Rights Legislation
2021 Outpaced Years Past in Breaking All-Time Temperature Records
Covid Test Misinformation Spikes Along With Spread of Omicron

As omicron surges, Washington legislators convene for the first day of the session
Thurston County Superior Court extends jury trial suspension at least a month
Some Thurston County roads still closed Monday due to flooding
WA’s 2021 climate laws made history. What will happen in this year’s legislative session?

Peninsula Daily News
Health workers concerned about strain from oncoming COVID-19 surge of infections

Puget Sound Business Journal
Omicron wave expected to trigger large-scale absenteeism, delays and cancellations

Seattle Times
Leavenworth is running out of places to put its record-breaking snowfall
Seattle officials face questions about police lies, investigation into faked radio chatter
Washington state’s White Pass, Stevens Pass remain closed to travelers
Seattle schools could return to remote learning if high number of absences continues
Seattle has struggled to care for sick and homeless people since the 1800s; now programs are trying something different
Washington Legislature begins another session; now 5 senators test positive for COVID (Lovick, Billig, Mullet, Trudeau, Jinkins)
Editorial: COVID-19 exposure app is a tool worth using
Rep. Simmons: Redemption is possible, if our laws allow it

Skagit Valley Herald
COVID numbers continue to rise

Sol De Yakima
Pasos Snoqualmie, Blewett reabrieron el domingo; Paso White abre el lunes en la tarde
Cierra de nuevo el Paso White sobre la carretera US 12

Spokesman Review
Mead School Board votes to oppose efforts to mandate COVID-19 vaccine for students
School leaders struggle to keep doors open as absences mount among students and staff
City of Spokane adopts law protecting tenants from eviction while awaiting rental assistance

Tribal Tribune
Salmon Redds Show Promise in the Upper Columbia River

Tri-City Herald
U.S. Supreme Court agrees to review WA state law that helps ill Hanford workers
Omicron hits Tri-Cities schools, sickening nearly 700 kids. Hundreds more in quarantine

Washington Post
Fauci, Walensky testify at Senate hearing on federal response to omicron
U.S. breaks record with more than 145,000 covid-19 hospitalizations
Private insurers to cover some at-home coronavirus tests, Biden administration says amid omicron surge
Biden to call for changing the filibuster in major voting rights speech
Moderna vaccines the best — and Sinovac least effective — at stopping covid deaths, Singapore data suggests
Ocean warmth sets record high in 2021 as a result of greenhouse gas emissions

Yakima Herald-Republic
Wintry weather could affect travel Tuesday in Eastern Washington; White Pass closes again
Here’s where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and booster in Yakima County
Seattle Times: Washington state lawmakers eye lowering minimum school age to 5 years old (Wellman)
Letter: Insurance industry is on the wrong side this time


Whatcom County Republicans urge council to fill legislative seat left vacant by late Sen. Ericksen
Gov. Inslee to give State of the State address Tuesday
Research finds lungs may be resistant to omicron variant
No, Washington won’t forcibly quarantine those who have COVID-19 or are unvaccinated
Kent leaders work to regain community trust after assistant police chief displayed Nazi insignia
Debris on private property may be the culprit of downtown Issaquah flooding

Double diagnosis worries doctors across the Sound
Omicron surge has some schools moving toward remote learning
Western Washington University continuing remote learning for two more weeks
Snoqualmie, Blewett passes reopen; Stevens Pass remains closed until Wednesday
Search for second Grays Harbor man swept away in Chehalis River flood
Robocalls target consumers as millions add phone numbers to national do not call list

New legislative session begins at state Capitol with COVID still lurking (Jinkins, Billig, Mullet, Trudeau)
Travel through the state’s mountain passes remains challenging for drivers
As floodwaters recede, Western Washington residents take stock, begin clean-up effort

KNKX Public Radio
Seattle immigrant rights group headed to the U.S. Supreme Court

KUOW Public Radio
Pandemic blog: Washington hospitals strained under Covid surge
As carbon removal gains traction, economists imagine a new market to save the planet
U.S. COVID hospitalizations hit new record high, raising risks for patients
So you got Covid. What do you do now?
Here’s what could send Seattle Public Schools back to remote learning
A paid holiday in March? It’d be Women’s Suffrage Day if Washington state lawmakers vote yea (Lekanoff)
Can salmon eggs survive Washington’s heavy floods?

‘That’s the dream’: New ideas to help the housing crisis in the 2022 legislative session
Washington Blood Coalition says there is a critical need for blood donations

Q13 TV (FOX)
Schools shift to temporary remote learning model due to substantial staffing shortages
WA lawmakers eye ‘tweaking’ police reform laws as 2022 legislative session opens (Jinkins)


WA legislators prepare for long list of climate change bills (Fitzgibbon, Lekanoff, Carlyle, Liias)
10 job opportunities in a zero-emission future

Another atmospheric river, heavy rain hits Puget Sound region
Whatcom County Council to appoint replacement for late Sen. Ericksen
Legislative session kicks off with packed agenda, virtual testimony, and multiple lawmakers with COVID (Billig, Jinkins, Mullet, Lovick, Trudeau)
‘Temporary workforce challenge’ suspends handful of King County Metro bus routes
Race for King County prosecutor heats up as field of candidates quickly takes shape
Puget Sound schools feel strain of omicron surge, as some mull return to remote learning
National Guard arrives in Leavenworth to offer aid after emergency declaration
Snoqualmie, Blewett passes reopen; White, Stevens passes remain closed