The King County Council’s budget proposal on Thursday cleared its last hurdle before final approval when the Budget & Fiscal Management Committee approved the $16.2 billion proposal.
*This release has been updated to reflect the correct budget total including capital spending.
The King County Council’s budget proposal on Thursday cleared its last hurdle before final approval when the Budget & Fiscal Management Committee approved the $16.2 billion proposal. Council’s budget commits millions more in funding to help human services providers hit hard by inflation, improve public safety on Metro transit, and invest in equitable pandemic recovery.
“Earlier this year, the Council committed to deliver a budget that helps the region recover and thrive by addressing the underlying inequities laid bare by this pandemic. That is what we’ve done today,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott, who has led the budget process as Chair of the budget committee. “Along with other key investments, the addition of the $35 million Equitable Recovery Initiative addressing the core challenges exacerbated by the pandemic – affordable housing, economic recovery, behavioral health needs and homelessness support – transforms the County budget into what we promised.”
Building on the strong initial proposal put forth by Executive Dow Constantine in September, councilmembers worked to ensure the budget added key funding for pandemic recovery, public safety, and human services. Some of council’s added provisions include:
- $35 million Equitable Recovery Initiative, including funding for supportive housing, homelessness support and behavioral health and economic recovery.
- $6.2 million to safeguard against inflation increases for human services providers, including those providing homelessness, housing and gender-based violence services.
- $3.6 million for Metro to serve riders now, improve rider experience, clean transit centers, enhance community safety and expand neighborhood engagement.
- $950k funding for youth programs in detention centers: provide behavioral health, skill-building and safety-enhancing services and staffing for juveniles in detention, including a gang intervention specialist, community-led programming, group and individual therapy sessions, staff trainings and other behavioral health services.
- $1.8 million in MIDD programs including sexual assault and domestic violence services, art mental health therapy, Naloxone distribution, and RADAR.
- $24.7 million in new capital investments, including the Little Saigon Community Center, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation Canoe House, Muslim American Youth Foundation Community Center, Children’s Home Society of Washington Resource Center, Fall City Community Center, Hanwoori Garden in Federal Way, and more.
- $200k proviso to ensure progress on legal system backlog from COVID-19.
The budget proposal will now face a final vote at a meeting of the full county council at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15.