Council takes fiscally cautious approach to budget review
As it looks to adjust the 2020-2021 biennial budget, the Pierce County Council is committed to prioritizing a revenue neutral position that does not rely on “rainy day funds” to balance expenditures.
The Council will take up review of the Executive's proposed 2020-2021 mid-biennial budget adjustment this week and introduce amendments to the document that reflect its approach to making minor changes to the already approved 2020-2021 budget, which made significant investments in public safety, human services and parks.
“Given where we are with the economy, we want to make sure we’re fiscally cautious as we enter the second year of the budget,” Council Chairman Doug Richardson said.
“We are not going to put ourselves in a position where we are spending down available funds when we could be facing a potential revenue downturn in 2021.”
Council adopted the $2.4 billion biennial budget at the end of 2019, approving spending and estimating revenue collections for two years. As required by law, the Council must provide for a mid-biennium review and modification for the second year of the budget cycle.
To support the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the Council proposed dedicating $1.75 million for the purchase of body and/or dash cameras for deputies in its mid-biennium adjustment. An additional $230,000 is earmarked for release in July to fund six new staff positions to assist with the public records aspect of the program.
The sheriff’s department must return to Council with its policies and procedures before implementation.
Council also proposed appropriating $1.36 million for the Medical Examiner’s Office in a continued effort to equip the office with modern-day technology. Most of the funds will be used to purchase a new X-Ray machine and CT Scanner.
Final action on the adjustment is scheduled for Nov. 24, 2020 at 3 p.m. Meeting packets are online.