House approves $100 million funding to support coronavirus outbreak response

OLYMPIA – Introduced on Monday, new legislation responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak in Washington state passed the House unanimously on Tuesday.

The bipartisan measure, House Bill 2965, was sponsored by two members of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee: Ranking Member Rep. Joe Schmick (R-Colfax) and Committee Chair Rep. Eileen Cody (D-West Seattle).

The bill will transfer $100 million from the state “Rainy Day Fund” to the state disaster response account for coronavirus response. It will also allow the state Department of Social and Health Services to increase nursing facility payments as more nurses are hired. As a result, more patients will be able to move into nursing care facilities and free up more beds for coronavirus patients in acute care centers.

More information about the Washington state coronavirus outbreak is available on the Department of Health (DOH) website. For further questions, state residents can call the DOH at 1-800-525-0127 and press # on their phone. The DOH is also regularly updating their Facebook and Twitter with more.

House Bill 2965 now goes to the Senate for consideration. The 2020 legislative session ends on March 12.