Gov. Inslee signs COVID-19 relief spending bill

VIDEO: Gov. Inslee signs COVID-19 relief spending bill

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that allocates $2.2 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funding.

The measure received strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate this month. It spends money in various areas, including vaccine administration, rental assistance and money for school districts as they move back toward in-classroom teaching.

“Our focus this year is relief, recovery and resilience, and this legislation will help us make tremendous progress in all of those areas. Washingtonians have been exemplary in helping limit the spread of COVID-19, but it has not come without its economic and emotional costs,” Inslee said. “The process of getting to a post-pandemic era has already begun, and we will come out of this stronger because of legislation like what I am signing today.”

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Here’s a breakdown of what the bill will provide:

  • $714 million in assistance for K-12 schools
  • $618 million for public health’s response to COVID, including testing, investigation and contact tracing; and funding for vaccination efforts
  • $365 million for emergency eviction, rental and utility assistance
  • $240 million for business assistance grants
  • $50 million for child care
  • $26 million for food banks and other food programs
  • $91 million for income assistance, including $65 million for relief for the state’s immigrant population

The House legislation was sponsored by Rep. Timm Ormsby. Sen. Christine Rolfes sponsored companion legislation in the Senate.

“Local communities have done their part to keep us all safe during this pandemic. This bill is just one step the Legislature will take this year to support those who are struggling most in our state,” said Ormsby. “As we approach the budgeting process, we are keeping our focus on investments that equitably address the needs in struggling communities and help families and small businesses get through this current stage of the pandemic.”

The legislation will take effect immediately.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.