COVID-19 response prompts another $86M in emergency funding from county

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

County councilmember Rod Dembowski

The King County Council has approved a third round of emergency funding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Councilmember Rod Dembowski stated “This supplemental budget prioritizes emergency health, housing and food security investments in response to COVID-19. 
"I thank our federal delegation for its hard work to secure these funds. They have proven essential to combat the pandemic and address its economic impacts.”

Adopted unanimously Tuesday afternoon, the $86.2 million supplemental omnibus budget provides funding for a variety of programs, headlined by a $12 million increase for food security, rental assistance, homeless services and a variety of measures to boost social programs and address structural racism.

The budget also includes millions to support digital equity in K-12 schools and further invest in behavioral health issues that have skyrocketed during the pandemic. The proposal also includes a provision to supply Metro buses with face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. A full copy of the budget is attached.

“Because of COVID-19, families, communities, workers and businesses across King County are hurting health wise, emotionally and financially,” said King County Council Budget Chair Jeanne Kohl-Welles. 
“This spending package is aimed at providing relief to their urgent needs and from the economic fallout caused by the pandemic. It also will help position our County to bounce back once the crisis is behind us. 
"And, importantly, the funding is targeted to support historically disadvantaged communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this pandemic – an important step to take if we are to dismantle and disrupt racism in our communities once and for all.”

The Council first approved $27.4 million in the first COVID-19 emergency funding measure in March and another $62.9 million was approved in mid-May. As with prior measures, King County expects much of the emergency spending to be reimbursed by state and federal funds.



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