Last Friday, I and much of the Washington lefty establishment, noted that State Sen. Jan Angel at the behest of Rodney Tom killed funding for state homeless programs. Anyway, finally Senator Angel has decided to address the problem head on. By demanding that Governor Inslee study the issue to death.
Sen. Jan Angel today sent a letter to the governor requesting his leadership in establishing a task force to evaluate funding sources for local homeless housing and assistance.
Her decision to hold House Bill 2368, a measure that would extend a temporary surcharge tax to support homelessness, in the financial institutions, housing and insurance committee has caused a flurry of controversy and inaccurate accusations, despite her good intentions.
“I was half an inch away from being homeless myself, so this issue is extremely important to me, despite what others are so quick to assume,” said Angel, R-Port Orchard. “People need to understand all of the facts surrounding an issue before they point fingers.”
Yeah, just because she withheld funds, how dare you ignore her personal story? Don’t you understand individual, unverified, claims are more important than the actual policy she pushes? Stop holding her to account for her actions, you meanies.
Angel said her main concerns about HB 2368 have to do with a lack of supporting data and reporting from the state Department of Commerce, strong discord among involved stakeholders, and the fact that the surcharge tax falls on the backs of one small and unpredictable sector.
That’s why she didn’t go through the normal committee process and instead killed it in a surprise legislative move. A move that caught even most of her GOP colleagues off guard. If she had wanted more reporting or more information, well, she’s the chair of the relevant committee. She could have made that happen without killing funding. For God’s Sake.
“This isn’t a matter of being for or against homeless people. This is about finding a sustainable solution that is agreed upon by all affected stakeholders – things that the measure did not do.
Look, it isn’t a matter of being against homeless people; It’s a matter of taking action against homeless people. And then waiting a week to find a way to deflect the actual reasons that you did it.
“That’s why I have called on the governor for his leadership. I am sure that he would agree that Washingtonians living in cars should be at the top of our priority list.
Jan Angel has called on the governor to lead, because we can be assured of one thing: Jan Angel will not lead on her own. No, what we need most of all in these troubled times is a commission or something. And, in the mean time, if people are hungry or cold we can just tell them, “there’s a taskforce in some office in Olympia leadershipping.”
“When you are put in a leadership position, you have to be willing to make the tough calls for the betterment of people. As co-chair of the committee, I decided to hold the measure because I know we can do better.”
But even after a week, I have no idea what better is. Leadership, as you know, is having no ideas and asking for someone else to rescue you from you own actions.
Angel said the current surcharge tax is at the mercy of virtually one industry that experiences severe peaks and dips depending on the economy. Instead of putting this kind of responsibility on the backs of one small sector, she is looking to the governor to help pull everyone together to evaluate more stable and permanent funding options that would truly meet the needs of the homeless.
Of course, the governor would have had more time to figure that out if she hadn’t killed the funding in a surprise last minute maneuver.