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Budget update: 8 City Council tweaks to budget include reversing mayor’s drug arrest diversion cuts

budget-process-updateA proposed cutback on the city’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program that expanded to SPD’s East Precinct on Capitol Hill in 2016 will be restored in proposed changes to the Seattle budget put forward by the City Council this week.

District 3 representative Kshama Sawant sponsored the proposed $150,000 budget line item’s “green sheet” addition to the 2017 spending plan.

This Green Sheet would add $150,000 GSF in 2017 and $150,000 GSF in 2018 to the Human Services Department (HSD) for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program. LEAD expanded to East Precinct in 2016; this funding would keep LEAD’s City-funded portion of its budget at the same level ($960,000).

LEAD is a pre-booking program that places qualifying drug use suspects into counseling instead of jail.

CHS wrote about Mayor Ed Murray’s 2017-2018 budget plan from a Capitol Hill perspective here. Council members have bristled at the mayor’s plan to slice back LEAD spending as well as his homeless spending plan.

Below are eight tweaks to the mayor’s plan being carried forward by the council members. You can take a look at all 104 proposed budget updates here.

  1. Fund the LEAD program: Add $150,000 GSF in 2017 and 2018 to HSD for the LEAD program
  2. Plan a statement of legislative intent for “Analysis of the implementation of the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force recommendations”This Statement of Legislative Intent (SLI) will request the Human Services Department (HSD) to assess barriers and opportunities to implement the Joint Task Force’s recommendations with particular attention to budgetary options available to the City for enhanced services, as defined in the City’s Interlocal Agreement with King County for Seattle King County Public Health. The analysis should a) include an indication as to whether an action item/service area is a core or enhanced service; b) estimate costs of all items, whether they are core or enhanced services; and c) encompass all of the following recommendation areas, with further detail where specified.
  3. Pay for a legacy business study: Increase GSF funding by $100,000 in 2017 to OED for a legacy business study
  4. Jack up marijuana licensing fee to $3,410: The current license fee revenue is projected to cover less than 70% of the cost of regulation in 2016. The Mayor’s proposed license fee increase will cover less than half of the cost, leaving tax payers to cover the rest.
  5. Boost bike spending: This proposal would allocate an additional $1 million in 2017 and $4 million in 2018 to accelerate the Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) Implementation CIP project.
  6. Add provisos on “all Bike Share” spending: None of the money appropriated in the 2017 budget may be spent on the expansion of a bike share system until authorized by Council through a future ordinance. Furthermore, none of the money appropriated in the 2017 budget may be spent on the operation of a bike share system after March 31, 2017 unless authorized by Council through a future ordinance. This proviso does not restrict expenditures that may be necessary for decommissioning and removing the existing bike share system, or to respond to conditions that threaten the public’s health and safety.
  7. Add provisos for the 23rd Ave Bus Rapid Transit project, scheduled to begin in 2021: This project will implement capital improvements to facilitate the operations of a RapidRide route. The project includes the 23rd Avenue and Rainier corridors between NE 45th St and Henderson, connecting Rainier Beach with Rainier Valley, Central Area, Capitol Hill and University District. The project is identified as a priority in the Transit Master Plan.
  8. Plan a statement of legislative intent for the democracy vouchers program: This Statement of Legislative Intent would ask the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC), in collaboration with the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) and Department of Neighborhoods (DON), to identify and report on best practices related to outreach to Legal Permanent Residents and limited English proficient residents regarding the Democracy Vouchers program, with a report due to Council by April 15, 2017.
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One thought on “Budget update: 8 City Council tweaks to budget include reversing mayor’s drug arrest diversion cuts

  1. “Jack up marijuana licensing fee to $3,410: The current license fee revenue is projected to cover less than 70% of the cost of regulation in 2016. The Mayor’s proposed license fee increase will cover less than half of the cost, leaving tax payers to cover the rest.”

    –Does this mean the Mayor proposed a cut to the license fee? If the current fee covers less than 70% and the Mayor’s proposal covers less than 50%? Or is the ‘cost’ being referred to the 30% difference?