The 2024-2025 Budget
We are in the final stretch of composing the 2024-2025 Biennial Budget. Last week, the Chair introduced Amendment No. 1 to the Executive’s proposal. It was passed as amended and is now our working document for the final budget.
On Tuesday, November 14, we will be considering amendments. These amendments pertain to the different agencies, airports, ferries, salaries, capital facilities, etc., and those that pass will be amended into one final document that will be considered November 21. (note: I will be at a conference in Spokane on the 14th and attending the council meeting via zoom)
On November 21, any additional amendments will be considered before taking the vote for final passage of the new 2024-2025 Biennial Budget.
What: Public Hearings on Proposed 2024-2025 Biennial Budget
When: Tuesday, Nov. 14, and Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 3 p.m. or soon thereafter
Where: 930 Tacoma Avenue South, Room 1046 in Tacoma or remotely via Zoom:
Remote Participation is available by calling (253) 215-8782 and using Webinar ID: 921-5903-3811. You can also attend via Zoom by using this link: https://piercecountywa.zoom.us/j/9215903381. I encourage everyone to participate in this process.
Here are some highlights in the budget proposal:
- It establishes a Small Business Security and Safety Program to support crime-impacted unincorporated communities and small cities and towns. The program will reimburse 50% of eligible costs up to a maximum yet to be determined by the Council as a match for one-time expenditures to make physical changes to business premises. This can include installing lights, alarms, fencing, cameras, and more.
- It includes purchasing upgraded body cameras for our deputies and new technology to aid in evidence gathering. The body cameras activate when deputies draw their sidearm or their taser. The latest technology upgrades allow residents to upload information from mobile phones, doorbell cameras, and other devices. The intent of this is to makes evidence gathering easier.
- It maintains the Sheriff Department’s hiring bonuses for commissioned law enforcement officers and corrections offers and expands it to Juvenile Detention Officers.
- It adds a Code Enforcement Officer and one Deputy Prosecuting Attorney to increase Code Enforcement Abatement work. Solid waste-related code violations, such as illegal roadside dumping, make up 45% of code enforcement complaints.
The budget includes substantial funding to address the increases in the costs of running a government, as well as for affordable housing, addressing homelessness, purchasing land, and environmental sustainability related to reducing greenhouse gases. Here is a press release containing a more detailed and lengthier summary of what’s in the budget so far.
There will be changes due to the veto of the Community Needs Fund (electronic page 28) and any future amendments. It was supported by our Finance Department. We will be seeking alternative ways to fund the important projects listed in that section.
Please feel free to email me your views and research to [email protected]. You can submit written comments on the legislation’s webpage at: https://online.co.pierce.wa.us/cfapps/council/iview/proposal.cfm?proposal_num=2023-44. Click on ‘Comment on Legislation’ on the right side of the page to share your thoughts, or email your comments to [email protected].
Grateful for you,