Rep. Dufault co-sponsors legislative response to coronavirus outbreak

Rep. Jeremie Dufault joined two other Republicans and a handful of Democrats last week in co-sponsoring Rep. Eileen Cody's (D-Seattle) bill that would allow the governor to spend up to $175 million rapidly responding to the coronavirus outbreak.

The bipartisan group first signed on to the proposal, House Bill 2965, on March 2. It passed unanimously out of the House on March 3, and unanimously out of the Senate on March 4. Both chambers approved amendments to the bill today and sent it to the governor for his signature.

“The people need their government to act quickly and decisively in times of crisis,” said Dufault (R-Selah). “This bill is a bipartisan effort to get resources to the public right away.”

Apart from allocating funds to state agencies, the bill authorizes the Department of Social and Health Services to reimburse nursing homes for unexpected costs incurred in response to the outbreak. It also allows people under official quarantine to qualify for unemployment benefits at no cost to the employer.

There are currently 457 cases of COVID-19 in Washington, including two in Yakima County and several others in Central Washington. Statewide, 31 people have died. The World Health Organization has characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov