Governor signs Holy bill helping health-care workers during pandemic

A bill from 6th District Sen. Jeff Holy that aims to help health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic took effect immediately when it was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee yesterday.

The law created by Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5190 will extend unemployment-insurance eligibility to health-care workers who must leave work to quarantine during a public-health emergency. It also will provide presumptive workers’ compensation coverage for health-care workers who contract the disease that is the subject of a public-health emergency.

“I’m glad the governor signed this common-sense bill that tries to solve a problem for health-care workers during this and any future pandemic,” said Holy, R-Cheney. “Health-care workers face a serious, immediate threat when they have to treat patients with infectious diseases. For over a year, we have faced a health-care crisis of great magnitude here in Washington and throughout the nation. It’s important for us to take care of the medical professionals who are being asked to help take care of the public.”

The Senate originally passed the proposal 34-15 on Feb. 25. After the House approved an amended version of the bill 84-14 on April 8, the Senate voted 37-12 on April 19 to concur with the revised measure.