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King County Executive Proposes Budget Reforms Around Housing and an Anti-Racist Agenda

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.

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.

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”.

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