Gov. Jay Inslee sets state’s priorities for 2020 in annual address

Gov. Inslee to unveil state budget plans this week

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Everyone has seen what homelessness looks like in Spokane.

The shelters are near capacity every night as many people are left outside in the cold.

That’s why Inslee declared homelessness a statewide issue that needs a statewide response.

He even took it one step further by setting a goal for the entire state during his State of the State address.

“Our goal over the next two years is to find safe, warm shelter for half the Washingtonians now living under freeways, bridges, and sleeping bags and cardboard boxes,” Inslee said.

Inslee said that happens by creating more affordable housing.

He also credited the state for the economic growth it has seen over the past couple of years, but he says there are still thousands of people one financial crisis away from being homeless.

“We also have people who faced economic problems that put affording a place of their own out of reach, in part because we have not built enough housing for the people that are coming to this state,” Inslee said.

He said the state will track the progress on that goal by working with each city to make it financially possible for more people to get off the streets.

Inslee took some time to talk clean energy as well. He said the state has done good work on the matter but even that is not enough.

“Even with the tremendous work we’ve done together, we will still fall 30 percent short of our 2035 statutory requirement that we’ve put into law if we don’t continue our clean transportation efforts,” Inslee said.

He said more progress can be made there with the clean fuel standard, which would put more responsibility on the oil and gas industry to offer cleaner fuel to customers.