GOP leadership doubts effectiveness of proposed homelessness spending

By Cameron Sheppard

WNPA News Service

Republican leaders in Washington state said they are not confident that spending on homelessness proposed by the Democrats will produce significant results.

On Feb. 24, Democrats from the Washington House and Senate proposed separate supplemental operating budgets following a $1.5 billion increase in expected revenue. Each proposal designated more than $100 million to fund affordable and supportive housing with the intent to address homelessness.

The House budget proposal, put together by Rep. Timm Ormsby, D-Spokane, allotted more than $230 million to reduce homelessness.

“I don’t think it’s the amount, it is how it’s spent,” said Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville. “Just throwing money at it hasn’t worked.”

Schoesler said from what he has seen, he is not confident that either of the budget proposals would produce impactful results within the next year.

Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, and Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, agreed with Schoesler.

“Simply putting more money in the exact same things we have been putting money in for the last five years isn’t sufficient,” Stokesbary said.

According to Stokesbary, the approach that Seattle has taken to mitigate homelessness is “failed.” Stokesbary said the governor seems to be supporting the same kind of housing investment approach that Seattle has pursued, which has only exacerbated the problem.

Becker said she was in favor of alternative solutions proposed by Sen. Hans Zeiger, R-Puyallup, which provide “ways forward,” for homeless individuals.

Zeiger sponsored Senate Bill 5261, which would have created a pilot program to incentivize cities to hire homeless individuals for certain city projects.

The bill had bipartisan support but never left committee during this session.

“We need to have the compassion to help people, but we also have to have the will to give people tough love,” Stokesbary said.

More in News

Health officers: Peninsula ready for expanded COVID vaccine eligibility

Gov. Jay Inslee announced an update to the vaccination timeline on Thursday,… Continue reading

Geoduck harvesting fatal for Port Angeles diver

A Port Angeles diver died Wednesday morning after his air umbilical cord… Continue reading

Teachers, school staff and childcare professionals now COVID-19 vaccine eligible

Teachers, school staff and childcare workers can now sign up for COVID-19… Continue reading

Sequim teachers, childcare staff now eligible for vaccines

Washington state teachers and childcare workers are now among those who are… Continue reading

Jefferson County settles 10 lawsuits with Sequim resident for $275,000

The three Jefferson County commissioners signed a $275,000 settlement with Sequim resident… Continue reading

Increased COVID-19 vaccine supply expected on Peninsula in April

Vaccination supplies are expected to increase this month, with production increasing on… Continue reading

Clallam County to receive additional funds from state health department

Clallam County is in line to receive an additional $1.25 million in… Continue reading

x
Community news briefs — March 3, 2021

NOLS to host scam tips session The North Olympic Library System presents… Continue reading

Most Read