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Council Approves $60M for Continued COVID-19 Response


Metropolitan King County
Council News

Council Approves $60M for Continued COVID-19 Response


The King County Council on Tuesday approved $60 million in emergency funding to continue the county's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The King County Council on Tuesday approved $60 million in supplemental funding for continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation provides funding for a variety of programs, including: funding to respond to youth homelessness, relief for small businesses; expanded funding for the Community Development Block Grant; increased capacity for newly added isolation and quarantine facilities; support for the hard-hit tourism and creative sector (arts, culture, heritage, science and music) venues in order to attract visitors back to fill convention and events centers, hotels, restaurants; and more.

Further, the plan includes much needed funding to small chambers of commerce and community-based organizations whose primary mission is to provide marketing and technical assistance to small businesses in King County communities.

“This is a robust spending plan aimed at helping small businesses, organizations and our most vulnerable communities throughout the county weather the storm caused by COVID-19 and put us in a strong position to bounce back once the skies have cleared,” said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Council Budget Chair. “Ultimately, we need to get people back to work and have all of our ducks in a row for when we can safely approach something close to normalcy. If we can do this, we will be in the best position for ensuring the health and wellbeing of our residents as well as for our economic recovery. This plan helps us get closer to these goals.”

The Council approved $28.2 million in the first COVID-19 emergency funding measure in March, and another round of funding is expected later this month. King County expects all or most of the emergency spending to be reimbursed by state and federal funds.

The table below details how Tuesday’s approved measure allocates the $59.9 million in funding. Additional quotes follow the table.


Office of Equity and Social Justice


To expand funding for the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to support ongoing needs of the community



Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget



  • $3 million for an Economic Development Relief Program for incorporated municipalities of the county to support chambers of commerce and community based organizations with primary mission to provide marketing, technical assistance and other support to small businesses, and cities for economic development activities


  • $2 million to 4Culture to provide relief funds to arts, culture, heritage, and preservation organizations throughout the county


  • $1 million to science organizations


  • $250,000 for arts, culture or science organizations, that provide education programs


  • $750,000 for live music venues






Laptops and related IT equipment to allow employees to work remotely




Adult and Juvenile Detention


Two full body security screening systems to minimize physical contact and support social distancing requirements



Department of Local Services (DLS)


Small Business Relief program to provide grants to small businesses in unincorporated King County and provide technical support and chambers of commerce and community based organizationsto partner to provide support to small businesses and translation services to small businesses.



Public Health


Support MOA that would provide 25% premium pay and an additional $4/hour for nights and weekends for public health nurses deployed to Isolation/Quarantine, Assessment and Recovery, and Shelter De-Intensification sites



Housing and Community Development


Increase expenditure authority of $3.3 million for the Community Development Block Grant and $964,006 in Emergency Solution Grant




FMD Operating


Expand operating capacity to support newly added Isolation/Quarantine, Assessment and Recovery, and Shelter De-Intensification sites: Bellevue, Renton, and Sea-Tac.


Establish a mitigation fund for local governments to recover costs related to the county's isolation and quarantine sites, assessment and recovery sites and shelter deintensification sites.



FMD Capital

Long Term Leases


Leasing costs for seven Isolation/Quarantine, Assessment and Recovery, and Shelter De-Intensification sites across the county




FMD Capital Building Repair and Replacement


Additional costs for the placement and installation of modular units as Isolation and Quarantine, Assessment and Recovery, and Shelter DeIntensification sites across the county and $150K to install fencing around Maleng Regional Justice Center



Lodging Tax Tourism


Advance of future lodging tax revenues to help stabilize tourism destinations throughout the county by supporting Visit Seattle and Seattle Southside for a tourism campaign



Lodging Tax Homeless Youth Services


Advance of future lodging tax revenues to support DCHS – Housing and Community Development to provide grants to organizations that provide programs and shelters to homeless youth




   Total: $59,914,000



Council Chair Claudia Balducci:

"We are doing a lot of good with the supplemental budget authorized today. I am particularly pleased to be responding to the particular needs faced by homeless youth services providers during this epidemic. I advocated for the $1 million in funding to provide our younger residents who are experiencing homelessness with access to the services they need to stay healthy during these challenging times. "

Councilmember Joe McDermott:

“This budget package marks the start of our work to support the economic recovery of our hardest hit communities, while continuing important public health programming to fight the spread of COVID 19. I was proud to have run the amendment that doubled the amount of financial support proposed going specifically to the unincorporated King County business community. This initial investment in chambers of commerce, community organizations and direct grants to small businesses with a strong focus on equity for our neighbors who have been historically disadvantaged is a crucial piece of the puzzle the county can contribute in the broader recovery effort we face as a region, state and country in the months ahead.”

Councilmember Kathy Lambert:

“The survival of small businesses across King County will be vital to our economic recovery from the COVID outbreak. This budget makes a sizeable down-payment on relief and recovery efforts to protect small businesses and their employees. Our small businesses relief programs will help small businesses stay open, maintain employees, and adapt to social distancing protocols. Similarly, the budget includes several grants to East King County cities, unincorporated areas, and community groups to provide housing, food and financial assistance to the many residents impacted by COVID.”

Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer:

“I am pleased that the Council took action today to help respond to this evolving emergency. This measure will help get funds into the hands of local small job-producing businesses, arts and culture organizations and more to support our region’s economic recovery.”


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