Friday, February 10, 2012

Rep. Darneille fights back for homelessness

Responding to a surge in homelessness from the Great Recession, the House approved a bill Feb. 9 to attack the problem – but not before an edgy partisan exchange.

The facts are these: On any given day, 23,000 people are homeless in Washington, and another 6,500 live in abandoned building or under bridges – or in cars.

“Sometimes, that (living in a car) is not a bad thing,” Republican Bill Hinkle of Cle Elum told the House, adding that it could provide motivation for self-improvement.

Rep. Jeannie Darneille of Tacoma would have none of that.

“This is not the way children should live in our society,” she said.

The measure – House Bill 2048, sponsored by Rep. Phyllis Gutiérrez Kenney of Seattle –  would raise an additional $25 million a year for homeless programs via a $10 increase in the fee for recording property deeds, mortgages, and other real-estate documents with county auditors.

The 55-42 vote for the bill sends it to the Senate.

Watch Rep. Darneille’s remarks on the House floor:

To read this story in Spanish, click here.