County council passes 2019-20 budget

Budget priorities include affordable housing and homelessness, public safety and expanding transit access and options.

After nearly two months of deliberation and review, the King County Council unanimously adopted the 2019-20 county budget on Nov 13.

The two-year budget of $11.7 billion will provide funding to restore the sheriff’s gang unit, $100 million for affordable housing projects, $230 million to combat homelessness and for transit needs.

King County’s budget priorities include affordable housing and increasing shelter space for the homeless in Bellevue, Snoqualmie Valley, Federal Way and Seattle; reestablishing the sheriff’s gang task force to prevent and combat gang violence; funding to provide low/no-cost transit fares for low-income riders; examining the impact of wastewater system on orcas and salmon and evaluating improvement in services for residents living in poverty.

“This budget prioritizes investments aimed at ensuring everyone in King County has the opportunity to pursue their full potential,” Councilmember Rod Dembowski said in a release. “This is a budget that puts our progressive values into action.”

The approved budget will benefit residents and community organizations in all of King County, including the Eastside.

In Redmond, $5 million will be used to build affordable homes as part of the Block 6B at Esterra Park Project. Two million dollars will serve as an initial contribution to building a permanent men’s emergency shelter in Bellevue. Also in Redmond, $13,000 will go toward the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Lake Washington Post 2995, through the Major Pete von Rechbaur (Ret.) Veterans Service organizations Grant Program. And 25,000 hours of new transit service will benefit all of King County.

According to Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the budget “responds to the county’s most urgent needs.” Investments are being made to make King County a welcoming place for all people.

To learn more about the King County 2019/20 budget, visit