On March 6, the President signed an emergency supplemental funding package – providing $8.3 billion to address COVID-19. This includes support to increase testing capacity, vaccine development, and $950 million, specifically for local and state public health response activities. Within the next 30 days, we expect to get the first funding disbursement to Washington State – approximately $11 million. This funding will allow local health jurisdictions to cover costs incurred since the first Coronavirus case occurred in the United States on January 20, 2020.
In the final hour before sine die on March 12, state lawmakers increased funding from $100 million to $200 million. This funding is critical in maintaining public health response efforts in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our state.
Through the bi-partisan and unanimous passage of House Bill 2965, a total of $175 million will be directed from the budget stabilization account for public health response and healthcare surge, with the remaining $25 million transferred into the newly created COVID-19 unemployment account to help businesses and workers disrupted by the pandemic.
Thank you, Washington Legislature, for stepping up and supporting public health!