With Covid relief and recovery a top priority, the Senate took a major step Wednesday with the passage of Senate Bill 5061, which provides $1.7 billion in tax relief to small businesses throughout Washington and increases the minimum unemployment benefits for people making the lowest wages. The Senate will continue to prioritize Covid recovery this week when the Ways & Means Committee will hold public hearings on key bills, including SBs 5343 and 5344. The bills are at the center of the Senate Democrats’ $2.2 billion pandemic relief package and will put money in the hands of public health professionals, schools, small businesses, people in need of rental assistance, food assistance, childcare and undocumented immigrants who do not qualify for federal or state assistance.

For more on the pandemic relief package, check out these stories from KING 5, Crosscut and the Seattle Times.


Senator Emily Randall speaks at an event in Olympia
Sen. Emily Randall (D-Bremerton) sponsor of Senate Bill 5284.

Monday, February 1
9:30 a.m.

People living with a disability make countless contributions to our community and our economy, it’s only fair that they earn a fair wage in return. Senate Bill 5284, sponsored by Sen. Emily Randall, ensures people living with disabilities do not get paid less than minimum wage. The bill will have a public hearing in Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs. Watch live on TVW.


Senator Rebecca Saldana and Senator Andy Billig answer questions from the media in olympia
Sens. Rebecca Saldaña (D-Seattle) and Andy Billig (D-Spokane) take questions from the media.

Monday, February 1
2:15 p.m.

Leadership in the Senate and House will take questions from the media on Monday afternoon. Watch live on TVW.


Senator David Frockt sits and speaks to Senator Liz Lovelett on the senate floor in olympia
Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) sponsor of Senate Bill 5351.

Tuesday, February 2
8:30 a.m.

Restaurants and retail businesses whose insurers are denying claims for losses suffered due to shutdowns to combat the COVID-19 pandemic would receive help through a bill sponsored by Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle). The Business, Financial Services & Trade Committee will take public comment on Senate Bill 5351, which would ensure businesses impacted by the pandemic will have the opportunity to collect business interruption insurance payments they are rightfully owed. Watch live on TVW.


Senator T'wina Nobles wears a mask and speaks from the senate floor in olympia
Sen. T'wina Nobles (D-Fircrest) sponsor of Senate Bill 5259.

Tuesday, February 2
10:30 a.m.

Washington state does not collect police use of force data in a significant fashion. The Law & Justice Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 5259. The bill, sponsored by Sen. T’wina Nobles, would direct WSU to compile and publish this information statewide to build a better understanding of the issue and develop data-driven solutions. Watch live on TVW.


Two college graduates hug after receiving their diplomas
Senate Bill 5321 will help more Washington students attend college.

Tuesday, February 2
1:30 p.m.

More Washington students will have access to College Bound Scholarships under a bill sponsored by Sen. T’wina Nobles. Senate Bill 5321 will have a public hearing in the Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee. Watch live on TVW.


Senator Christine Rolfes smiles on the senator floor in Olympia
Ways & Means Chair Sen. Christine Rolfes (D-Kitsap County).

Tuesday, February 2
4 p.m.

The Ways & Means Committee will hear public testimony on key pieces of the Senate Democrats’ pandemic relief and recovery plan Tuesday. Senate Bills 5343 and 5344 (House companion 1368) gets federal funds into the hands of people and programs most impacted by the pandemic. Watch live on TVW.


Senators Annette Cleveland and Patty Kuderer talk on the senate floor.
Chair of the Health & Long Term Care Committee Sen. Annette Cleveland (D-Vancouver) talks with Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue).

Wednesday, February 3
8 a.m.

The Health & Long Term Care Committee will hear public testimony on Senate Bill 5377, which will increase affordability of standardized health plans on the individual market. Sponsored by Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle), it improves upon the public option and makes health care more affordable. Watch live on TVW.


Senator Steve Conway speaks into a microphone during a committee hearing in olympia
Sen. Steve Conway (D-Tacoma) sponsor of Senate Bill 5355.

Wednesday, February 3
10:30 a.m.

Each year, working Washingtonians lose out on millions of dollars in lost salary due to wage theft. Senate Bill 5355, sponsored by Sen. Steve Conway (D-Tacoma), will give Washington workers the ability to recoup lost wages. Watch live on TVW.


The Senate floor at the Washington State Capital in Olympia, WA
The Senate will begin four days of floor action Tuesday morning.

Wednesday, February 3
1:30 p.m.

The Senate will take the floor Wednesday afternoon. Watch live on TVW.


Senator Manka Dhingra smiles while three therapy dogs sit in chairs in front of her
Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond) with two good boys and a good girl.

Thursday, February 4
10:30 a.m.

Courthouse therapy dogs can help children and vulnerable adults tell their stories of survival. Because courthouses are closed due to the pandemic, Senate Bill 5127 would allow therapy dogs to go to survivors to provide much-needed comfort when recounting their trauma. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Manka Dhingra, will receive a public hearing in Law & Justice. Watch live on TVW.