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Killing Front-Line Assistance

Near the end of the 2021 Legislative Session, a coalition of organizations representing front-line workers began working with then-Speaker Kotek on a program that would provide financial assistance to families who were impacted by serving on the front lines of the COVID pandemic.

Although the concept was not ready in time for the 2021 Session, Kotek and other stakeholders, including Rep. Rachel Prusak and Rep. Andrea Valderrama, worked hard with labor unions to develop criteria, create distribution plans, identify funding sources, and generally prepare the measure for the 2022 Session.

After Speaker Kotek left the Legislature to focus on her run for Governor, Rep. Paul Holvey stepped into the role of Speaker temporarily. On January 31, 2022, then-Speaker Holvey held a video meeting with members of the coalition where, without elaboration, he announced that although the program would require a third-party vendor administrator, the Department of Administrative Services has "pulled the rug out" on that and the bill would not be moving forward, despite members of the coalition having already identified several paths forward.

Paul Holvey did not elaborate, nor did he give any indication that he desired to continue working on the legislation.

At that point, the legislation was dead and front-line workers never received that assistance.


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