Year after year, Washington ranks among the best economies in the country, and yet existing policies and systems have not enabled all residents to thrive. An estimated 1.7 million Washingtonians still do not have enough resources or income to maintain consistent housing, access healthy food, pay utility bills or meet other basic needs — and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic further compounded these issues.
In December, Gov. Jay Inslee took steps to help address the matter as he proposed supplemental budget funding for 2022 that represents a significant investment — more than $1 billion,– to reduce poverty, address housing and provide resources to many Washingtonians left behind.
“In 2017, we created the poverty reduction group to develop a 10-year strategic plan to reduce poverty in our state,” Inslee explained at a press conference last month. “That group prioritized expertise and potential investments to reduce poverty, and the recommendations have informed many of the investment decisions that I’ve proposed to the Legislature in this budget. So I’m putting forward a package that will help nearly 1.7 million Washingtonians who can use a hand, who are struggling to make ends meet.
“My supplemental budget puts $248 million in state and federal funds toward poverty reduction. This package will help people find employment, it will empower folks to build assets and wealth, it increases educational opportunities and, importantly, it improves health.”
Read the full story on the governor's Medium page.