Washington State House Democrats


Wednesday, September 21

White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice speaks last month during a news briefing at the White House in Washington

New estimate for number of WA residents eligible for student loan forgiveness
Nearly 700,000 Washingtonians are eligible for President Joe Biden’s student debt relief program, with the majority of them Pell Grant recipients, according to an estimate the White House released Tuesday. In Washington state, as of March, nearly 783,000 residents hold $28.2 billion in outstanding federal student loans. Nearly half are burdened with federal loans of more than $20,000, and over 77% are under the age of 50. Last month, Biden announced his administration will cancel up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for those earning under $125,000 a year or households that earn less than $250,000. Pell Grant recipients or undergraduates with the most significant financial need are eligible for up to $20,000 in debt relief, according to the plan. Continue reading at The Seattle Times. (Al Drago)

Photograph of one of the estimated 1,700 people receiving grants through the American Rescue Plan Act.

1,700 people aided by $1.8 million Snohomish County ARPA money
Snohomish County sent $1.8 million of its $160 million federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to family resource hubs. The county gave money to ChildStrive, Cocoon House, Community Resource Center of Stanwood-Camano, North Counties Family Services, Take the Next Step, Volunteers of America Western Washington in Arlington and Sky Valley, and YWCA. Those agencies helped over 1,700 people with pandemic-related bills as well as employment and social services. To qualify, they had to be at or below 60% of the area’s median income. That equals $5,788 per month for a family of four. Not all of them typically pass out money like this and had to set up the process in response to the pandemic. Continue reading at The Everett Herald. (Kevin Clark)

Wildfire smoke shrouds the South Hill as a Spokane Fire Department engine rolls across the Maple Street Bridge

Spokane City Council passes emergency air quality ordinance
Two weeks ago, Spokane’s skies turned gray as wildfire smoke from afar wafted over the city and plunged the region’s air quality into the “very unhealthy” range. On Monday, the council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance that requires the city to provide shelter space when air quality reaches 201 on the Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality index. Air quality is considered to be “very unhealthy” when it exceeds 200. Under the previous version of the law, Spokane didn’t have to provide shelter space until the air quality index hit 250. Officials often cancel outdoor school activities and youth sporting events at the 150 threshold, which marks the beginning of the “unhealthy” category on the air quality index. Continue reading at The Spokesman Review. (Dan Pelle)


Associated Press
Seattle teachers approve new contract following strike
Official: Canada likely to drop vaccine requirement to enter

Auburn Reporter
Department of Health introduces monkeypox data dashboard to track viral activity

Bellingham Herald
‘Serious, confirmed’ hazing incident leads to Sehome football’s forfeit of game
WA isn’t alone in book censorship. Here’s how one library is giving access back to students
Wildfires are still burning in Whatcom and B.C. Here’s what to expect for smoke

Capital Press
Feds recommend at least 10-year term for Easterday
Washington wolf pack crosses line; Fish and Wildlife mulls lethal control

Editorial: In Our View: As journalism goes, so goes democracy

The Daily News
Cowlitz County commissioners deny reclassification of Woodland Bottoms for proposed subdivision
Justin Aguilar-Tofte family sues Longview in wrongful death claim after he was fatally shot by police in 2020
Castle Rock reviews limiting number of vacation rental homes at Wednesday planning commission meeting

Everett Herald
Snohomish County bus driver shortage creates ripple effect for schools
1,700 people aided by $1.8 million Snohomish County ARPA money
Comment: Dated attitudes about nursing factor in our crisis

The Inlander
State agencies push back on Spokane’s order to remove Camp Hope; call deadline ‘irrational’

Journal of the San Juan Islands
Final preparation for raising the Aleutian Isle

News Tribune
You can visit national parks for free this Saturday. Here’s what to know

Which books are banned, challenged in WA? Here’s how to find out restricted titles
WA Congressional delegation supports bill to expand Chehalis Tribe’s leasing authority
Looking for new trails? Thurston County officials consider developing these four options

Puget Sound Business Journal
SBA, DOT team to expand capital, contracting opportunities

Seattle Times
Biden nominates Seattle business leader Roger Nyhus as ambassador
New estimate for number of WA residents eligible for student loan forgiveness
Undocumented immigrants can apply for WA COVID-19 relief funds
Ex-WA state employee gets 5 years for pandemic fraud of jobless claims
Seattle City Council OKs legislation to create Seattle Film Commission
Mayor Bruce Harrell appoints Adrian Diaz permanent Seattle police chief

Skagit Valley Herald
Skagit County to try new approach to mental health in minority communities

Spokesman Review
In scathing letter, state chides city of Spokane on Camp Hope response, accuses mayor of valuing ‘optics’ over ‘action’
Spokane City Council passes emergency air quality ordinance
‘It’s happening with younger and younger people’: UW expert talks about keeping youth safe amid rise in fentanyl use and overdoses

Washington Post
Fed poised for another sharp rate hike to fight inflation
In U.N. speech, Biden condemns Russia
Pickleball is exploding, and it’s getting messy
U.S. Civil Rights Commission sees inequities in FEMA disaster response


Air quality worsens in Seattle overnight due to Bolt Creek Fire
Seattle mayor selects Adrian Diaz as new police chief

Seattle City Council passes measure to create film commission

KNKX Public Radio
How Biden’s declaring the pandemic ‘over’ complicates efforts to fight COVID
For the first time in 230 years, Congress has full U.S. Indigenous representation
How do you make Seattle happy? Reopen the West Seattle Bridge

KUOW Public Radio
Western WA is covered by smoke again. But for how long?

‘Censorship divides us’: Spokane Public Library holds events for Banned Books Week
Spokane Fire Department orders Jewels Helping Hands to take down cooling shelter

Q13 TV (FOX)
Tacoma leaders postpone decision on homeless ban
Washington DOH launches monkeypox data dashboard, cases declining statewide


Remembering Sandy Williams, the Spokane journalist and Black activist

The Stranger
New SPD Chief, Same as the Old Chief