Gov. Inslee on federal stimulus package: Thanks, but more is needed

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Gov. Jay Inslee welcomed the approval of a $2 trillion federal stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 crisis, but said more assistance will be needed will be needed in the months ahead.

Inslee noted that the emergency aid package won’t address “billions of dollars in shortfalls we are expecting to face at the state, local and tribal levels.”

“This bill does not solve those longer-term challenges,” Inslee said after the package was signed into law by President Trump Friday.

Inslee said:

“This public health emergency is impacting all Washingtonians and we need solutions that reflect the size and scale of the moment. Our state welcomes this critically-needed support, as we continue to face down an unprecedented crisis. From investments in essential child care and medical supplies to expanded unemployment insurance and small business support, we know it will make a meaningful difference in people’s lives in the days and weeks ahead.

“However, we also know it is not enough. There’s no question more help will be needed in the coming months to address the harsh economic realities of this moment. Make no mistake — it is a moral imperative that leaders across the country continue to make the difficult choices to protect public health and keep Americans safe. But it is also incumbent on federal government to help address the billions of dollars in shortfalls we are expecting to face at the state, local and tribal levels. This bill does not solve those longer-term challenges.

“I am grateful for commendable efforts of Washington State’s Congressional Delegation, who fought on a bipartisan basis to secure vital resources for Washingtonians who are on the front lines of this crisis. Their leadership in this moment sends a message to every corner of our state that we are truly all in this together.”

Here is a summary from by the governor’s office on the allocations for Washington state:

State Coronavirus Relief Fund: Estimated $1.624 billion for Washington state (state share) and estimated $1.329 billion for local governments (local share) for a $2.953 billion total for Washington, out of $150 billion total;

Child Care Development Block Grant: Estimated $58.2 million for Washington out of $3.5 billion total;

Community Services Block Grants: For counties and cities to rapidly respond to the economic and housing impacts caused by COVID-19. Estimated $11.8 million for Washington out of $1 billion total;

Low Income Energy Assistance Program: Estimated $11.1 million for Washington out of $900 million total;

Education Stabilization Fund: To help ensure K-12 schools and institutions of higher education can continue to serve students as they respond to the coronavirus crisis. Estimated $56.6 million for Washington out of $2.953 billion;

Elementary and Secondary Education: Estimated $216.9 million for Washington out of $13.229 billion total; and

Hanford: Directions to the federal government to ensure tens of thousands of workers at the Hanford Nuclear Site and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory who cannot telework will continue to receive pay.

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