(The Center Square) – King County Council passed the proposed $16.4 billion budget by unanimous vote.
The County Budget and Financial Management Committee added more than $70 million to King County Executive Dow Constantine’s overall budget proposal.
The largest additional spending approved by the committee was $35 million for the Equitable Recovery Initiative, which aims to fund supportive housing, homelessness outreach, behavioral health and economic recovery.
“The addition of the $35 million Fair Recovery Initiative to address key challenges exacerbated by the pandemic – affordable housing, economic recovery, behavioral health needs and homelessness support – transforms the county’s budget into this we promised,” Budget Committee Chairman Joe McDermott said in a statement.
Constantine’s budget included $220 million to put King County Metro on track for a zero-emissions transit fleet by 2035.
The committee added $3.6 million to the subway to improve the user experience and keep transit hubs clean, according to the budget.
Social service providers specializing in the provision of homelessness, housing and gender-based violence services will receive an additional $6.2 million to hedge against inflation under the finalized budget.
The committee also added $24.7 million in new capital funds. They will be distributed to Little Saigon Community Center, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation Canoe House in South Lake Union, Muslim American Youth Foundation Community Center, Children’s Home Society of Washington Resource Center and Fall City Community Center, Hanwoori Garden in Federal Way , among other community organizations.
Mcdermott said the budget prioritizes continued funding for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and public safety. Constantine’s two-year, $55 million public safety plan includes funding to create a new unit within the King County Sheriff’s Office that will specialize in gun violence reduction, as well as the hiring of more detectives and equipping deputies with body cameras.