Needles littered the ground throughout a homeless encampment at Federal Way’s Hylebos Wetlands, which is public property. Sound Publishing file photo

Needles littered the ground throughout a homeless encampment at Federal Way’s Hylebos Wetlands, which is public property. Sound Publishing file photo

Republican leadership doubts effectiveness of homelessness spending

Democrats propose hundreds of millions toward affordable housing.

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.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Drive-thru COVID-19 virus testing last week in the parking lot near Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett. A study by the University of Washington and UnitedHealth Group, conducted at Everett Clinic locations, found that a less-intrusive form of the coronavirus test would require fewer precautions by health care workers. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
New self-swab COVID-19 test is just as accurate, study finds

The study, under peer review, was led by an Everett Clinic doctor. It could speed up testing nationwide.

St. Francis Hospital staff thank Federal Way community for support during virus outbreak

From medical supplies and meals to coffee and handwritten notes, emergency department staff say they feel the love from Federal Way.

Life Care Center (LCC) of Kirkland is facing more than $600,000 in fines for its response to the COVID-19 outbreak in its facility. Samantha Pak/Sound Publishing
Life Care in Kirkland facing more than $600K in fines for COVID-19 response

The facility has until Sept. 16 to pay or address areas of concern or it will be terminated.

Man, 37, found with gunshot wound to the back in Federal Way McDonald’s parking lot

The man was transported to Harborview Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Dentist checking patient’s teeth. Sound Publishing file photo
Dental foundation serves Medicaid patients through COVID-19

The Arcora Foundation is also attempting to expand its urgent care database, allowing those with different insurances to use its services during the outbreak.

Gov. Jay Inslee during a press conference April 2, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Gov. Inslee’s Facebook page)
Gov. Inslee extends stay-home order to May 4

As in other states, demand for intensive health care due to COVID-19 is expected to peak later in April.

Unemployment claims continue to climb

For the week of March 22-28, claims have reached more than 181,000.

Inslee to state businesses: Pivot to make medical equipment

The governor said Wednesday that the state must become self-reliant in the fight against COVID-19.

Most Read