King County Executive Dow Constantine's proposed $617 million mid-biennial supplemental budget – transmitted to the King County Council today – includes $20 million for Climate Equity bonds for projects supporting frontline communities disproportionately affected by climate change. Other notable investments in the budget include:
- $65.8 million to accelerate Metro bus electrification from 2040 to 2035, including investments in base electrification and electrification of Water Taxis and Access vehicles.
- $20 million of Climate Equity bond funds for projects identified with community partners to support frontline communities disproportionately affected by climate change and increase opportunities for those communities to benefit from emissions reductions and energy efficiency.
- $3.1 million for expanded regional gun violence and peacekeeping efforts, including additional community outreach, violence interrupters, and life coaches.
- $4.3 million for the new adult felony Community Diversion Program, including resources for a loss recovery fund that provides financial supports for harmed parties; assessment and referral staff; and community-based service contracts.
- $17.3 million in Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) to restore program cuts and some program expansion driven by increased sales tax revenue projections.
- $5.5 million to accelerate work on culvert replacement and sidewalks in lower-income neighborhoods in unincorporated King County funded by additional excise tax funds.
- Restoration of undesignated fund balance in the General Fund to 8% and the Rainy Day Reserve in the MIDD Fund to 60 days due to increased sales tax projections.
- Appropriation of an additional $126.6 million for Best Starts for Kids (BSK) funds, consistent with the passage of the BSK levy by King County voters in August and the implementation plan.
- $45 million for the preservation of over 1,900 acres of open space throughout King County.
- $1.5 million to expand access to dental care for low-income, uninsured adults in King County regardless of citizenship status, funding 4,000 to 5,000 dental visits at community health centers.
- $1.4 million for investments in the Office of Equity and Social Justice supporting community engagement, disability equity, and Office policy and operations; this includes the use of one-time funds from the City of Seattle to support the Coalition Against Hate and Bias.
"The past two years have proved what we've been saying: That we can’t wait – not on climate, not on early childhood education, and not on remaking public safety - and the investments in this budget will create a more equitable, just, prosperous King County,” said Executive Constantine. “We are focusing our funds on making transportation more efficient and accessible, ramping up Mental Illness and Drug Dependency treatment, prioritizing our environment through preservation and climate equity bonds, and investing in King County’s future."
The proposal also includes the restoration of reserves in the General Fund, Diversion Program fundsfor the imminent start of the program, and deployment of REET funds for the acceleration of culvert replacements and sidewalks in low-income neighborhoods.
The proposed supplemental budget was transmitted to the County Council on Sept 30. The mid-biennial budget is used to adjust the Council adopted 2021-2022 $12 billion budget and generally reflect changed circumstances such as revised revenue forecasts, new grants, and updated opportunities.