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.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

t
Peter Rogoff to step down as Sound Transit CEO in 2022

Became CEO in 2016; search for replacement to begin

File photo/Sound Publishing
Ban on single-use plastic bags in WA begins Oct. 1

Shoppers will have the choice to pay for a reusable plastic or recycled paper bag.

Photos from Emma Artz Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/emma__artz/?hl=en
Juanita HS student is one of the best downhill mountain bike racers in the world

Emma Artz represented the US in one of the most difficult bike races, placing in top-15.

file photo
Housing and finance insiders call for subsidized housing families can own, instead of rent

Advocates say increasing homeownership will strengthen the community, build intergenerational wealth

Screenshot taken from Rosa Parks Elementary School website.
Eastside school wins National Blue Ribbon honor

Rosa Parks Elementary School in Redmond is the only Washington school to win.

Screenshot taken of a King County video showing Wilburton Trestle
King County’s Eastside to receive major multi-modal transportation investment

Private and public investors will help build a regional biking and walking trail to mitigate traffic

Co-owners Sarah Cassidy and Luke Woodward stand in front of The Grange (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Co-owners Sarah Cassidy and Luke Woodward stand in front of The Grange (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
How a King County restaurant and farm work together to make a true farm-to-table experience

The Grange prepares sustainably produced meals pulled from the soil of the Snoqualmie Valley.

Artist rendering of new school classrooms and amenities (courtesy of BASIS Independent Bellevue)
Bellevue to have new private school by 2022 school year

The school will focus on having specialized subject teachers and high staff-to-student ratio.

Most Read