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Rep. Melanie Morgan, sponsor of the bill that would establish Juneteenth as a legal holiday, said that the move was a step in the right direction toward honoring the history of Black Americans.
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 17 December 2020

Jay Inslee AP Ted Warren fullWashington Governor Jay Inslee (AP Photo/Ted Warren)Gov. Jay Inslee this week announced a historic equity policy package for the upcoming 2021 legislative session, including $365M for equity-related decision packages and budget items. For the first time, the governor directed state agencies to center budgetary decision packages and legislation around equity.

The proposed investments follow an unprecedented year that exposed the inequities that communities of color have faced for generations.

Inslee was joined by Rep. Melanie Morgan, Rep. Mia Gregerson and Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler for the announcement.

“I firmly believe Washington will be an anti-racist state, and I will be taking actions that hold our state to that commitment,” Inslee said during a press conference Monday. “We need our policies and budget to reflect our dedication toward disrupting the harmful systemic cycle of racism and inequity.

“We have seen Black, Indigenous and other people of color disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 because of longstanding racial gaps all of which have as a root cause — racism. Now is the time to implement real change that will have a positive impact on the lives of those most impacted by this crisis.”

Inslee’s legislative and budget proposals would:

  • Establish Juneteenth as a legal holiday.
  • Stand up and task the Washington Equity Office.
  • Mandate independent investigations of police use-of-force.
  • Continue to fund the Immigrant Relief Fund.
  • Ban making insurance decisions based off credit scores.
  • Invest directly in communities of color.

Read the full story on the governor's Medium page

Read the full equity policy brief here.

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