King County Council - what have they been up to this month?

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 16

  • King County has again received high marks from the Big Three global credit rating agencies. Fitch Ratings, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s all reaffirmed top credit ratings for the county despite the lingering effects of the Great Recession. The agencies noted King County’s proactive financial management, diverse economic base, and moderate debt levels as factors in the ratings. 
  • Council limited the fee for use of county-owned electric vehicle charging stations to $5.
  • Authorized a 50 year lease for 30 acres of property along Issaquah Creek, to protect salmon habitat. The land owned by the State Department of Natural Resources. This is a transfer, with no cost to the county.

May 9 - Offender re-entry plan
With an eye on ensuring that offenders do not return into the criminal justice system, the Council adopted a motion accepting the County’s Offender Reentry Plan. The adoption of the plan will allow the County to access millions of Federal funds as part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Second Chance Act.
“This plan puts King County in the position to seek federal funding for programs and services aimed at reducing recidivism,” said Councilmember Bob Ferguson, Chair of the Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee. “Setting people up for success after being released from jail improves public safety and improves outcomes for those individuals and their families.”
May 9 - Mental Illness and Drug Treatment Programs
A program funded by the County sales tax is paying dividends, both for taxpayers and individuals receiving the treatment they need to stay out of the criminal justice system. The Metropolitan King County Council today accepted a report on the services supported by the Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) sales tax.
“I sponsored the legislation authorizing the MIDD in 2007 because the costs of our jail being a de-facto mental institution were unacceptable and because I knew we could do better,” said Councilmember Bob Ferguson, chair of the Council’s Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee. “It is good to see that our investment is effectively helping individuals break the cycle of involvement with the criminal justice and emergency care systems.”

May 9 - Recycling eWaste
Reducing eWaste: County Council approves legislation on disposal, recycling of electronic equipment. With the adoption of guidelines regarding the disposal of electronic devices such as computers, monitors, keyboards, televisions and cell phones, the focus is on “Responsible Recycling” of old equipment.

May 2 - Reducing paper for council meeting
County councilmembers are conducting a 90 day trial to get their meeting packets online in the form of pdf documents.  The paper added up to 2-3,000 sheets of paper every two weeks. 

May 2 - Economic development
The Council dissolved the King County Economic Enterprise Corporation and will use a portion of the funds for economic development.

In 1990, the state Legislature created the Washington Economic Development Finance Authority, an independent agency within the executive branch of state government, created for the same purpose as King County’s EEC, only performing this function on a statewide basis. The state program will assume issuing industrial revenue bonds on behalf of King County businesses. The EEC issued its last bond in 1998. The dissolution of the EEC will eliminate duplication of efforts and save public resources.

May 2 - Veterans' levy
The Council voted to put the reauthorization of the King County Veterans and Human Services Levy on the August primary ballot.


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