Massive investments in public safety, transit, and housing headline approved 2023-2024 King County Budget

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

County Councilmember Rod Dembowski
The King County Council on Tuesday approved a $16.2 billion budget to fund King County for the next two years. 

The 2023-2024 biennial budget includes funding for clean energy, affordable housing, public transit, protecting the environment, improving community safety, behavioral health and more.

Councilmember Rod Dembowski: "I'm proud of the work we have done to adopt a budget that reflects our values and priorities: safer communities, housing our unsheltered neighbors, protecting our environment and responding to the needs of those most impacted by COVID. 
'The budget is balanced, protects our financial reserves, and helps ensure we maintain our top-tier bond rating, which saves taxpayer dollars. It's been a privilege to serve on this year's Budget Leadership Team and I thank the public and my colleagues for their thoughtful engagement in our budget work."

Highlights of funding in the budget include:
  • $220 million to convert Metro to all-electric buses by 2035
  • $166 million to fund affordable housing near transit centers, supportive housing operations and coordinated crisis response efforts to homelessness
  • More than $50 million to fund environmental improvements and protections, including restoring fish passage habitat, removing nitrogen and chemicals from wastewater, and expanding access to heat pumps and solar panels for homeowners in unincorporated King County
  • $55 million for community safety, including efforts to reduce gun violence, new Metro transit security and community engagement staff, body worn cameras for King County Sheriff’s deputies, creating pathways away from jail for our youth and more

Building on the strong initial proposal put forth by Executive Dow Constantine in September, councilmembers worked to ensure the budget added key funding for pandemic recovery, public safety, and human services. Council changes added roughly $76 million to the original proposal of $16.14 billion. 

Some of council’s added provisions include:
  • $35 million Equitable Recovery Initiative, including funding for supportive housing, homelessness support and behavioral health and economic recovery.
  • $6.2 million to safeguard against inflation increases for human services providers, including those providing homelessness, housing and gender-based violence services.
  • $3.6 million for Metro to serve riders now, improve rider experience, clean transit centers, enhance community safety and expand neighborhood engagement.
  • $1.1 million to increase the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight staffing by 55% to ensure robust accountability investigations and community engagement
  • $950k funding for youth programs in detention centers: provide behavioral health, skill-building and safety-enhancing services and staffing for juveniles in detention, including a gang intervention specialist, community-led programming, group and individual therapy sessions, staff trainings and other behavioral health services.
  • $1.8 million in MIDD programs including sexual assault and domestic violence services, art mental health therapy, Naloxone distribution, and RADAR.
  • $24.7 million in new capital investments, including the Little Saigon Community Center, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation Canoe House, Muslim American Youth Foundation Community Center, Children’s Home Society of Washington Resource Center, Fall City Community Center, Hanwoori Garden in Federal Way, and more.
Full budget documents can be found here.


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