Housing, gun violence top Gov. Inslee’s 2023 agenda

Jan 10, 2023, 3:37 PM | Updated: 3:44 pm


Gov. Jay Inslee wants housing and addressing gun violence to be his top priorities. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Making housing available to everyone and addressing gun violence are the top priorities for Gov. Jay Inslee.

Speaking to a joint session of the state legislature, Inslee said, “If we continue building on the investments and policies we’ve started, we can build a Washington where everyone is housed and where our schools are safe from gun violence.”

In his 2023 state-of-the-state address, the governor proposed raising the state debt limit and earmarking a $4 billion referendum for housing.

“If there was ever a time to go big, it’s now,” he said.

“States across the country are seeing an increase in homelessness, and Washington is one of them,” Inslee said. “Though some people face behavioral health challenges or chemical addiction issues, the fundamental, underlying challenge is that we don’t have enough housing.”

Inslee proposes billions for housing, would need voter OK

Inslee said it is partly an irony of having a strong economy.

“Until we fix our housing crisis, thousands of people will remain homeless,” Inslee explained. “I understand the frustration of those who wonder why this problem isn’t solved yet. And I understand the allure of easy answers to homelessness. But there is no easy answer.”

The governor is hoping the referendum will speed up the construction of thousands of new units. He said they will include shelters, supportive housing, and affordable housing.

Inslee said the state needs 81,000 housing units and it’s growing every day.

The governor explained the money from the referendum will be combined with behavioral health support, substance use treatment, and employment services.

Gee: ‘Police cannot be the cure for gun violence’

Inslee also addressed the growing gun violence problem in the state. “One thing we know is that gun violence is a significant driver of increased crime. This isn’t a surprise considering the gun lobby has worked for decades against commonsense gun safety measures,” he said.

Inslee believes that “voters and legislators have been willing to take on the gun lobby. We’ve enacted several measures to strengthen background checks and limits on the kinds of weaponry used in mass shootings.”

He laid out a three-point plan to address the problem.

Inslee wants to require people to have safety training before they purchase a gun. He said we must demand more accountability from gun manufacturers and dealers when they fail to follow the law. And third, he said its time to ban the sale of military-style assault weapons in the state.

“We owe our children the assurance we’re doing all we can to keep them safe,” he said.

Among other items, the governor outlined: All people should have a constitutional right to reproductive freedom, and people struggling with mental health or substance use should get the support that is needed.

The new legislative session has just begun.

Local News

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy...

Bill Kaczaraba and Steve Coogan

Wash. officials react to McCarthy being ousted as House Speaker

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was voted out of his job Tuesday, a first in U.S. history. Officials in Washington shared their views of the development.

18 minutes ago

murray president...

Heather Bosch

Sen. Patty Murray now 2nd in line to be president after McCarthy’s dismissal

The line of succession after the president is the vice president, then the speaker of the House, then the Senate Pro Tempore.

1 hour ago

Garfield high school...

Frank Sumrall

Garfield High School enters lockdown after gunfire erupts behind campus

The school and other facilities in the area were put into a lockdown. Due to the timing of the incident, many students were leaving campus for lunch.

6 hours ago


Ted Buehner

This is why your phone alarm went off Wednesday morning

A nationwide broadcast of the National Emergency Alert Test will be conducted by FEMA and the Federal Communications Committee (FCC).

7 hours ago

FILE - Kenneth Warner races into the water to help rescue the driver of a car that went into the fl...

L.B. Gilbert

Whatcom County to get aid to fight flooding this winter

Whatcom County is trying to better prepare itself against flooding, as memories of countywide flooding in November of 2021 causing major damage persist.

7 hours ago

FILE - A person shows their scan card for their personal selection numbers for a ticket for a Power...

L.B. Gilbert

$1.2 billion Powerball drawing nears after 11 weeks without a winner

A $1.2 billion Powerball jackpot will again be up for grabs Wednesday night after an 11-week stretch without a big winner

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Housing, gun violence top Gov. Inslee’s 2023 agenda