Sorry for running late today! Here is your morning-ish briefing
Happening in Olympia
Governor Inslee announced an expansion of state unemployment benefits to federal employees currently working without pay during the government shutdown. “There are nearly 16,000 Washingtonians who are about to lose a second paycheck as a result of this federal shutdown,” he said. The maximum amount of weekly compensation unemployment benefits is $749 per week, said Suzi LeVine, commissioner of the state Economic Security Department. (Seattle Times)
Senator Hans Zeiger (R-Puyallup) is taking a creative approach to the homeless crisis. He introduced a bill that would create a pilot program for the state to partner with three cities to give jobs to homeless people. The jobs would primarily consist of things like picking up trash or beautifying the city. “We’re talking about a population of folks who may want to get work, but have had barriers to doing so,” Zeiger said. “So this is a foot in the door, really a starting point, to getting on with their lives.” (My Northwest)
Senator Karen Keiser (D-Kent) sponsored a bill that would inflict higher taxes on hair stylists who rent booths or chairs. Senate Democrats had claimed booth renters were exempt from the state’s B&O tax… which is false. “A small salon in Spokane complained that what we have now creates an unfair playing field,” Keiser said. Sen Keiser may want to wait a bit before her next hair appointment. (KING 5)
The King County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the FBI is now investigating a ransomware attack on the City of Sammamish. “There is the concern for the data breach in general that our system is not adequate to prevent this from happening, and then of course the ability of the city staff to work has been impeded,” said Sammamish Mayor Christie Malchow. Yesterday the city said it planned to cancel all city credit cards as a precautionary measure. (KIRO 7)
“The city is organizing a homeless stand down at the cathedral,” said Bret Bowers, spokesman at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center. “The VA is supporting them by providing staffing. They will have food and clothing, and if they are veterans, we will try to enroll them.” Spokane city leaders say the goal is to offer a safe haven, food, clothing and avenue off the street for anyone who comes to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes. (Spokesman Review)
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