$11 Billion proposal will be assessed with goal of November adoption
StoryFour members of the Metropolitan King County Council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee will direct the Council’s deliberation of the proposed King County Budget delivered today by County Executive Dow Constantine.
“It’s no secret that our region faces many challenges and I will make sure that King County is doing all it can in the smartest ways possible to address issues like homelessness, public safety, drug addiction and juvenile incarceration,” said Budget Chair Dave Upthegrove, who will direct the Council’s review of the proposed budget. “I look forward to working with all of my colleagues to present a balanced budget that meets these standards.”
The Executive’s proposal would bring the County’s total spending in the 2017-2018 biennium to a total of $11.3 billion. The proposed budget includes a $1.6 billion General Fund budget, three-quarters of which is targeted for law, justice and public safety services.
All nine members of the Council serve on the Budget Committee during budget negotiations with Councilmember Upthegrove as Chair of the committee. For the 2017-2018 budget deliberations, three Councilmembers will direct panels that will review all aspects of the Executive Proposed Budget:
Budget Committee Vice Chair Kathy Lambert will lead the General Government Panel. That panel will focus on budgets from core governmental services, including internal service funds, as well as the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review.
“Establishing the County Budget is one of our most important jobs on the Council. The citizens of King County have entrusted us with the responsibility of enacting a budget that will fund the responsibilities of government including Criminal Justice, Public Health and Safety, Transportation, Solid Waste, Wastewater, Animal Control and so much more,” said Lambert. “We are both a regional and a local government to the unincorporated areas of this County. Both need to be fully evaluated and have their needs met to the best of our ability. Seeing that these needs are clearly addressed is vital!”
County Council Vice Chair Rod Dembowski will chair the Physical Environment Panel. The panel will direct the Council’s assessment of the budgets of the Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources and Parks.
“As chair of the Council’s Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee, I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and tackle the challenges and opportunities before the Physical Environment Panel for the 2017-2018 King County Budget,” Dembowski said. “I will work to ensure that our expected $30 million additional investment in Metro Transit will bring more bus service to underserved communities to keep our County moving, enhance passenger and driver safety, and aggressively push forward my initiative to convert our bus fleet to a zero emissions/carbon-neutral system. I am also excited to double down on our parks and open space conservation efforts. I am ready to get to work with my colleagues.”
Councilmember Claudia Balducci will direct the Health, Human Services and Criminal Justice Panel. This panel will be responsible for the review of budgets located in Public Health and the Department of Community and Human Services as well as the County’s criminal justice agencies.
“As we face revenue shortfalls affecting public safety agencies, our work will focus on providing essential public safety services in an effective and efficient way,” said Balducci. “As we implement the Best Starts for Kids and renewed Mental Illness and Drug Dependency levies and look forward to the renewal of the Veterans and Humans Services Levy, we have an unprecedented opportunity to improve prevention and human services throughout King County. The Health, Human Services and Criminal Justice panel will work hard to ensure these critical County services are well coordinated and achieving results for our residents and families.”
Prior to the start of the panel review of the proposed budget, the Budget Committee will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, October 5 to hear from the County’s separately elected officials on their proposed budgets. The budget panels will begin their review of the Executive Proposed Budget on Tuesday, October 11.
This is the second biennial (two-year) budget for all county agencies, including those contained within the County General Fund. After the budget is adopted, it will be updated as needed over the two-year period.
Traditionally, the Council adopts the County Budget before Thanksgiving.
All budget meetings in chambers will be shown LIVE online and on King County TV, seen on Comcast Cable channel 22 (HD channel 322) and Wave Cable channel 22 (HD channel 722). You can also sign up to follow the deliberations on the Council’s 2017-2018 Budget page, Facebook and Twitter (#KCBudget).