While this budget is definitely a step in the right direction, I am hopeful that in the near future we can add more resources to make our transit system more accessible for the poor and indigent
StoryThe Metropolitan King County Council unanimously adopted a 2017-2018 King County Budget that will continue the County’s focus on alternatives to incarceration and look toward making sure that communities that depend on public transportation will have greater options for paying to ride the bus.
“While this budget is definitely a step in the right direction, I am hopeful that in the near future we can add more resources to make our transit system more accessible for the poor and indigent,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett.
The $11.4 Billion two-year budget provides funds to ensure the County’s programs that focus on supporting people who would benefit from services more than a jail cell will continue. Alternatives to incarceration such as Electronic Home Detention and Work Education Release were slated to end in 2017. The adopted budget will provide funding to study how to maintain these programs by removing them from the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention and potentially integrating them into other county agencies.
This budget also works on preventing people from entering the criminal justice system by supporting programs funded from the voter approved Best Starts for Kids Levy designed to help kids off to healthy starts in life.
A growing population needs expanded transportation options to get people to work, school and activities. This adopted budget includes 300,000 new service hours for Metro Transit, and an effort to make Metro more accessible to low-income riders. The budget calls for ways to make riding the bus more affordable by making the current discounted ticket program available for purchase by nonprofit agencies and including funds to study how to waive the current fees for new ORCA cards and Regional Reduced Fare permits.
The budget will also provide greater access to athletic opportunities for both youths and adults through the provision of grants to nonprofit organizations to support youth or amateur sport activities or facilities throughout the County. There will also be funds for organizations that assist underserved youth by providing supplies such as team fees, uniforms and sports equipment.