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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Inslee wants to tap reserve to address homelessness crisis

UPDATED: Wed., Dec. 18, 2019

A homeless person cuddles with a dog outside the Cannon Street shelter, Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Spokane, Wash. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
A homeless person cuddles with a dog outside the Cannon Street shelter, Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Spokane, Wash. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday he wants to spend more than $300 million from the state’s emergency budget reserve to add 2,100 shelter beds and provide other help to combat homelessness.

In unveiling his supplemental spending plan to the state’s current $52.4 billion two-year budget Inslee said Washington must do more to find housing for people. He said Washington has the fifth-highest per-capita rate of homelessness.

In addition to adding shelter beds Inslee wants to give rental and other housing assistance to more than 3,000 people. His plan would cost $146 million during the 2019-2021 biennium and ultimately cost $300 million over three years. The state currently has about $2.5 billion in its emergency fund.

The Legislature, which convenes next month, will consider Inslee’s proposal.

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