Inslee announces measures to help renters, workers and small business owners

Inslee Coronavirus Presser
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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee on Wednesday announced new measures to help renters, workers and small business owners amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor said the state has already distributed $75 million of the legislature’s $200 million allocation for statewide response.

The first measure introduced by the governor was a statewide moratorium on evictions for residential tenants for 30 days. Residential landlords will be prohibited from serving a notice for lack of rent, from issuing a 20-day notice unless it is necessary for the health and safety of the tenant and others, and from initiating judicial action.

Inslee also said he recognized that there are workers off the job for long periods of time and announced additional help for those collecting unemployment benefits.

The state will be waiving the one-week period before people can access unemployment insurance. Inslee said he also wants the government to make a national disaster declaration so more workers in Washington would have access to unemployment insurance.

Meantime, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services will expand eligibility for the family assistance program to include families without children.

In reference to helping small businesses, Inslee said all counties in Washington should be eligible for small business disaster loans. He said $5 million of strategic reserve funds will be made available as small grants for small businesses across the state to help prevent closures due to COVID-19.

Inslee ended the press conference by encouraging Washingtonians to keep doing their part to help others. He asked the public to stop stockpiling supplies, encourage family members over 60 to shelter-in-place and to reach out to local services if facing mental health struggles.

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