Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope this finds you safe and well. It’s an honor to once again represent you in the 41st District!
Now that the election year activity restrictions are lifted, you’ll be hearing from me regularly with updates on my work for you, our district, and our state. My legislative website and Facebook page are also active once again. Have a question or concern for me? My contact information can be found below and I welcome your input.
These last few months have been hard and painful with the impacts of COVID on health, education and child care, mental health and the economy. However, I am confident that there is a brighter day ahead if we can work together and listen to the advice of public health officials. With the vaccine right around the corner, the mask wearing, handwashing, and staying home we do today will save lives. Below you’ll find out more information about staying healthy, getting small business relief and keeping in touch.
Use your phone to help stop the spread of COVID-19
The state of Washington recently unveiled a new statewide COVID-19 exposure tool for iPhone and Android users called WA Notify. The tool is free to use, anonymous, and protects your privacy. It works by alerting you whenever you are around another WA Notify user who later tests positive for COVID-19.
Over 700,000 Washingtonians activated WA Notify in the first 24 hours it was available. Please join us today too. It’s a small action but another powerful tool to help stop the spread and protect yourself and your community.
Last chance for open enrollment this year
The annual open enrollment period for health insurance ends December 15! Sign up by then to receive insurance beginning in January 2021. Visit WAHealthPlanFinder.org to browse and compare plans—including new Cascade Care plans—and sign up today.
New round of help for small businesses
Last month, the Governor announced new restrictions in response to the recent rapid spread of COVID-19 in Washington and across the country, and recently extended those restrictions through January 4. While we know these updated guidelines and restrictions will increase hardship for families, workers and businesses that are already suffering, it is a necessary step to prevent our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed and to save the lives of our fellow Washingtonians.
In order to aid businesses struggling through these restrictions, the Governor recently announced $120 million additional financial support for businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Who can apply?
Small businesses with annual revenues of $5 million or less in 2019 who are in the sectors most affected by public health measures to fight the COVID-19 virus. Those include restaurants, fitness centers, bowling alleys, and musical venues. Nonprofits may be eligible if they have a primary activity that’s similar.
Applicants with revenues in excess of $5 million may receive funding if the Department of Commerce has leftover funds after giving grants to all the smaller businesses and nonprofits who applied and qualified.
What is the grant?
The maximum grant is $20,000, which can only be used to cover costs due to the pandemic which were necessary to continue operating. Example: rent.
How can you apply?
Fill out an application online at commerce.wa/bizgrants. There’s a checklist of information you should gather before filling out the application. Check the website for the full list.
Note: If you previously applied for resiliency grants will not need to do anything to qualify for funding during this round.
Keep Up with the Legislature
The 2021 Legislative Session will proceed unlike any in recent memory. With the ongoing threat of the global COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers will convene virtually in January. While remote session will surely present unique challenges, it will also offer the public a chance to more closely observe and more easily participate. For the first time, all committee testimony will be virtual. Not only does this address the need for safety, it will also make it easier for those with mobility issues, those in rural areas, and those far from Olympia to participate in their government. Learn more about remote testimony and sign up to testify in upcoming committee meetings on the Legislature’s website, leg.wa.gov. Written testimony will also be allowed for the first time, allowing even greater participation.
I have been honored to be re-elected Chair of the Children, Youth and Families Committee and serve on the Appropriations and Local Government Committees. Although I won’t be in my office in Olympia, I’ll still be doing the work for our district, and I invite you to reach out to my office with questions, concerns, ideas, and comments on those committee topics and beyond. You can email me at Tana.Senn@leg.wa.gov, call my office at (425) 453-3037, or reach out to my Legislative Assistant to schedule a virtual meeting at Emma.Palumbo@leg.wa.gov.
Thank you for following our public health guidelines, masking up, and staying socially distant!
Be well and Happy Holidays,