New Senate committee formed to address economic recovery

The Washington State Capital Building in Olympia. (Undated file photo from Getty Images)

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Senate has formed a bipartisan special committee to recommend legislation to address long-term economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Senate Facilities and Operations Committee voted Wednesday to officially form the committee, which will be comprised of four Democrats and three Republicans.

Democratic Sen. David Frockt will serve as the committee’s chair and Republican Senator Randi Becker will serve as vice chair.

The committee will hold its first meeting in June, and there are plans to hold work sessions in the coming months ahead of a likely special session later this year and the next regular legislative session that begins in January.

An unofficial revenue forecast sent to some lawmakers last week shows the state could face a reduction in projected state revenues of $7 billion through mid-2023 due to the coronavirus crisis. And numbers released by the state last Thursday showed one in five workers in Washington have filed unemployment benefit claims since March, and nearly $1.5 billion in benefits have been paid out in that time frame.

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