Greetings neighbors and friends,
COVID-19 will clearly continue to challenge our state and country in the short term. But there are steps we can take to remain informed, maintain a good quality of life, and keep ourselves and family members healthy and strong. To that end, I am sharing recent steps taken in our state to address the crisis and resources you may find helpful.
Eviction moratorium and other emergency steps taken by the Governor
Yesterday, the Governor announced a statewide moratorium on residential evictions for the next 30 days. Landlords will be prohibited from evicting tenants or issuing 20 day eviction notices for failure to pay rent. Evictions for other circumstances such as nuisance, commission of a crime, or the health and safety of other tenants will still be allowed. Under the order law enforcement will not be allowed to assist in evictions and landlords will be not be allowed to initiate judicial action.
For more information about the emergency steps the Governor took yesterday, read his post.
Support for parents and students during school closures
Schools are the cornerstones of our community. Last week, Governor Jay Inslee and Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal directed all schools statewide to close until April 27 at the earliest. We know that school closures will have a serious impact on Washington’s families. Here are some resources for families affected by this disruption.
Parents of students who receive free or reduced-price school meals should contact their school district about meal distribution.
Here are additional resources to assist parents and students while schools remain closed:
- School closure FAQ
- Tips for talking to your children about school closures
- Questions and answers from the US Department of Education about providing services to children with disabilities
- Financial education resources from Financial Education Public Private Partnership (great for older students)
- Printable social studies lessons and activities for students from the Pulitzer Center
- Free virtual museum tours from London to Seoul
- Women’s History Month lessons and conversation kits for students of all ages
- Online Physical Education Network’s tools for creating an active home.
- List of online mathematics resources for remote learning
- World language learning from PBS and Georgia Virtual Learning
- Seattle Times article on child care and at-home learning during coronavirus closures
Support for Workers & Businesses
The Governor’s move to mandate a two-week closure of restaurants, bars, and entertainment and recreational facilities, as well as limiting gatherings to 50 people, will help slow down the spread of coronavirus. However, workers and business owners are being impacted and are looking for answers as they wonder how they will get their families through this necessary shutdown.
State agencies have adopted emergency rules and developed comprehensive websites to help relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation and quarantine for workers and businesses. Please keep in mind that the content in the links below will likely be updated as this situation continues unfolding, so check these sites often for the latest information.
- The Employment Security Department has resources on paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, unemployment benefits, and more. Check out this easy reference chart on scenarios and benefits.
- The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has information available on mortgage payments, rent payments, student loan deferments, short term and emergency loans, utility payments, and more.
- The Office of the Insurance Commissioner has a site set up to help with insurance questions, including a frequently asked questions page.
- The Washington Health Benefit Exchange has opened a special enrollment period for individuals without insurance which will run through April 8th, 2020.
- The Employment Security Department has information on what resources are available to help businesses keep employees, and information about tax filing lenience.
- Governor Inslee’s website has a list of resources on:
- How to apply for federal Small Business Administration loans.
- How to request tax filing extensions or penalty waivers from the Dept. of Revenue.
- Where to go for support from the Dept. of Commerce Export Assistance Team.
- The Office of the Insurance Commissioner has a page on business insurance information, including one answering questions on event cancellation insurance.
Please stay healthy and safe. I have no doubt that together we will persevere. It remains the highest professional honor to serve as your State Representative.