County Council approves more than $389 million for courts backlog, community supports, rental assistance, and more in latest round of emergency COVID funding

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Top right: Rod Dembowski represents north King county

The King County Council on Tuesday approved its latest round of emergency COVID-19 funding, a supplemental budget totaling more than $389 million.

This, the eighth round of COVID funding since last March, brings King County’s total emergency funding for the pandemic to more than $1.4 billion.

“Facing historic backlogs and delays in the courts due to the coronavirus pandemic, this eighth COVID budget allocates the resources to ensure access to justice -- that crime victims, such as survivors of physical and sexual assault and domestic violence, may still seek resolution, that citizens may utilize civil legal aid and the courts to resolve disputes, and that individuals accused of a crime may still access a speedy trial,” said Councilmember Kohl-Welles. 
The funding covers a variety of programs and operations that address both direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic, including health, housing, economic impacts, legal system backlogs and more.

The following is a breakdown of spending in the approved budget.

It appropriates $67 million of the remaining $70 million of the county’s Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (included in American Rescue Plan Act—ARPA-- funding) allocation for the following:

  • Legal System Backlog $42.5 million
  • Public Health Response to the pandemic $14.6 million
  • Community Supports, including Civil Legal Aid and Tiny House Villages $3.7 million
  • Economic Recovery / Workforce Development $5.6 million
  • County Operations in response to the pandemic $0.9 million

The approved budget also appropriates an additional $321 million, funded by various federal and state grants (most of which are also supported by ARPA) and the county’s General Fund for the following:
  • Community Supports (Community Development Block Grants, HOME Grants, Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program, Immigrant Community Supports) $279.6 million
  • Vaccination Efforts (Jail Health, Mass Vaccination Program, Partner Agencies) $27.7 million
  • Public Health Response to the pandemic $11.3 million
  • County Operations in response to the pandemic $2.4 million

Councilmember Rod Dembowski stated, 
 “This eighth COVID-19 response budget prioritizes fundamental human and community needs. It brings our total rental support appropriations during the pandemic emergency to approximately $350 million. It helps ensure access to justice. And it continues to prioritize our public health response to the pandemic and its impacts.”


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