Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
Because I’ll be on the ballot later this year, election-year restrictions make this the last e-newsletter you’ll receive from my legislative office until the November election is certified. Although the Legislature’s regular session ended almost two months ago, the COVID-19 situation is keeping me busy with numerous video meetings and phone calls with updates on how the state continues to respond.
The governor’s action this week to extend his stay-at-home order through May gives me some cause for concern. It will undoubtedly have serious consequences for families, small businesses and students, and put a huge hole in the state’s $54 billion budget (an early estimate is $7 billion). I’ve been fighting to ensure there is accountability in the decisions the governor is making. Recall that the point of this social (or what I prefer to call physical) distancing was to “flatten the curve” and reduce the rates of infection and death. We’ve seen that happen. I’m proud that Washingtonians have come together and done the responsible thing.
Now it’s time to move toward a measured reopening of our economy and society. We can do so safely and maintain the progress we’ve made. I wish the governor’s four-phase approach to reopening had the right balance to it, but the timeline is too fuzzy and it continues the inconsistent pattern of picking winners and losers within the economy. That doesn’t take into account the very real impacts that both social isolation and disappearing incomes are having on our citizens’ mental and emotional health. My Senate Republican colleagues and I recently put forth what we believe is a reasonable approach to recovery for our state. You can read that here.
In case you missed it, I also mailed a report on the 2020 legislative session. Click here to read that.
I’m here to serve you and be a resource as much as possible during this difficult time. Follow this link for a comprehensive list of information we developed, which I hope you’ll find useful. I’m heartened that so many are lending a hand to support their communities. Many of our neighbors are hard-hit by a lack of work and struggling with food insecurity. Washington farmers have stepped up and are donating 1 million pounds of potatoes. Over the span of a couple of weeks, sites are being set up around the state for a giveaway, and on May 19, we are expecting 25 tons of potatoes to be handed out in Mount Vernon.
It’s not too late to be counted!
We have a responsibility to make sure our communities get the resources they need. You can make sure that happens by filing out the 2020 census. It’s not too late. You should have received some notifications or reminders in the mail with instructions.
I’m urging you to do your civic duty and fill out the census today! The information gathered is vital to our community and state. It determines funding for over a hundred federal programs, informs our congressional representation and redistricting and more. If we miss out, we will live with the consequences for the next 10 years. So, if you care about the future of libraries, roads, public safety, school funding, and our community, please take 10 minutes and fill out the census.
Visit www.2020census.gov/ to fill it out and for more information or you can call 1-844-330-2020.