On Tuesday, September 22nd, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced his plans for the next budget session. The total budget amounts to $12.4B over the next two years. The budget announcement was largely centered around housing and moving toward an anti-racist agenda.
One of those efforts involves permanently housing 2000 ‘chronically homeless’ neighbors (the county serves around 4500). $400M would be invested into housing efforts into the region. A 0.1% sales increase would be leveraged to fund this.
We cannot wait for a new tax code. Our neighbors, friends, and family members in housing distress cannot wait. This is the right thing to do, and we need to do it now.— Dow Constantine (@kcexec) September 22, 2020
County Executive Constantine mentioned the hotels and motels that were used to help with social distance efforts during the pandemic. Renton has had the Red Lion where the DESC facility has been staying since March.
This is what we found: shelter residents who for years had struggled with the most basic needs began to stabilize. They were able to secure their belongings, get a full night’s sleep, take a hot shower in the morning, do their laundry, and begin to get well.— Dow Constantine (@kcexec) September 22, 2020
As such, I am also sending to the Council a measure that would release $4.2 million from the County’s Rainy Day fund to ensure that congressional intransigence doesn’t force people to lose what safety, stability and dignity they have gained in our emergency hotel and motel rooms.— Dow Constantine (@kcexec) September 22, 2020
Another change proposed is diverting $4.6M generated from marijuana tax revenue to community investments away from law enforcement. $2.8M of these funds would be used to help individuals who have past marijuana-related offenses. $1.9M would be divested from jails by continuing caps and further reductions. Finally, a new fund of $6.2M would be created for “restorative community justice”.