OLYMPIA — Coronavirus watch: It is and will continue to get worse.
On Monday, we learned the death toll had risen to six in Washington as Gov. Jay Inslee called on state lawmakers to provide $100 million in the supplemental budget to cover the costs of state agencies and local health districts responding to COVID-19.
Sen. Steve O’Ban dropped a bill to get the $100 million out of the Rainy Day Fund. Rep. Eileen Cody introduced legislation to withdraw $50 million from the emergency reserves. There’s strong bipartisan support to act swiftly.
“It is my goal to avoid this being a partisan, nasty debate about doing the right thing,” said Senate Minority Leader Mark Schoesler. “I am not going to argue about the amount of money we spend to protect public safety and keep commerce going in this state.”
Meanwhile, in the other Washington, the U.S. Senate health committee will hold a hearing on the federal response early Tuesday.
Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the panel, is preparing some tough questions for those in charge of the effort.