State senator: Officials should ‘get out of ivory tower in Seattle’ over plan for heroin sites

State Sen. Mark Miloscia said he will oppose efforts to establish a public site for heroin users in his South King County district.

“These King County officials need to get out of their ivory tower in Seattle and talk to regular folks to understand the insanity of this proposal,” Miloscia said in an email.

Miloscia’s comments come on the heels of a recommendation by a county heroin task force to open two sites in the county where addicts can inject heroin under medical supervision. The sites would be an alternative to consuming in parks, alleys and other open-air spots, advocates say.

Supported by both King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, the sites would be the first of their kind in the country. Under the proposal, officials would open one site in Seattle and another outside the city.

Miloscia, a Federal Way Republican who is running for state auditor, said the proposed sites would endanger nearby residents and businesses. He is working on legislation to bar local governments from authorizing the sites.

Murray on Thursday acknowledged the potential for opposition to the consumption spaces, but urged pushing the proposal forward.

“My experience is that when we [open a sanctioned] homeless encampment, the certain neighbors [who] tend to go sideways on us, that’s not the whole neighborhood,” Murray said. “Yes, there’s angst. Yes, there’s fear, but generally most folks want to find a way to move ahead.”

Miloscia has also taken aim at local government’s handling of homeless camps. He is working on a bill that would financially penalize local governments that don’t enforce state guidelines regulating the encampments.

credit: Seattle Times

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