On September 27, Mayor Bruce Harrell released his first two-year budget with a speech delivered in front of the City’s Vehicle Maintenance Facility. The Mayor addressed how he would close the projected $140 million deficit and pledged to get the basics right in delivering essential city services.
Mayor Harrell explained that the guiding principle in the development of the budget “is how best to meet the urgent needs of our communities and empower our employees to deliver essential services. I’m proud to say that we’re able to propose a budget that sustains the high-quality City services our residents expect, protects critical staffing, and makes smart funding decisions to address community priorities, including safety, homelessness, access to opportunity, and more.”
The Mayor’s budget devotes more than $740 million (almost half of the $1.6 million general fund) to public safety. The proposed budget increases the Seattle Police Department budget by $20 million to $375 million. Much of that increase comes from the transfer of Parking Enforcement back to SPD, which was transferred to the Transportation Department in 2020.
The Mayor also called for providing $10 million to the King County Regional Homelessness Authority. While this represents 13% in city support, it falls well below the $90 million that the Authority requested from the City and County.