Senate passes Holy bill helping health-care workers during pandemic

A bill introduced by 6th District Sen. Jeff Holy that aims to help health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic has been approved by the Senate.

The Senate voted 34-15 tonight to pass Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5190, which would provide health-care workers with presumptive benefits during a public-health emergency. The bipartisan proposal specifically would make health-care workers eligible for unemployment-insurance benefits for workers who are terminated or left work to quarantine during a public-health emergency. ESSB 5190 also would provide presumptive workers’ compensation coverage for health-care workers who contract the disease that is the subject of a public-health emergency.

“I’m pleased the Senate passed this common-sense bill that tries to solve a problem for health-care workers throughout our state during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Holy, R-Cheney. “Health-care workers face a serious, immediate threat when they have to treat patients with infectious diseases. When we have a health-care crisis of this magnitude here in Washington and throughout the nation, we need to take care of the people who are being asked to help take care of the public.”

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.