Notes from Monday’s Council meetings

When all was said and done, a lot more was said than done.

This afternoon the City Council passed an ordinance allocating $12 million to be used for non-congregate shelter for homeless individuals at high risk for COVID. The bill is written to maximize the chances that FEMA will reimburse some or all of the expenditures; it ends several weeks of bickering back and forth between the Council and the Mayor’s Office over precisely what homeless-response expenditures FEMA is willing to reimburse.

At tomorrow morning’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee meeting, Councilmember Herbold will propose a new version of the pending bill cutting $5.4 million of SPD’s 2021 budget. The new version only cuts $2 million, but prescribes more narrowly what will happen with another $5.7 million of salary savings.  See this separate article for more details.

Tomorrow afternoon, the Sustainability and Renters Rights Committee will meet. One the agenda:

  • a discussion of the “end of lease loophole” in Seattle’s just-cause tenancy ordinance;
  • several appointments to the Green New Deal oversight board;
  • a presentation from the Office of Sustainability and the Environment on 2021 climate justice priorities;
  • a discussion on electrifying Seattle’s infrastructure.

Councilmember Mosqueda announced this morning that her Finance and Housing Committee will meet next on April 6. The agenda will include further consideration of a pending bill appropriating additional funds for rental assistance.

Councilmember Pedersen announced this morning that his next Transportation and Utilities Committee meeting will be on April 7. He expects the agenda to include:

  • an ordinance that would approve certain technologies for use by SPD that could have surveillance uses. Two similar ordinances were voted out of his committee last week and approved by the Council this afternoon; the third stayed in committee for further work — though Pedersen said this morning that it may be broken up into five separate bills to allow for more granular approvals.
  • a report on implementation of the Internet for All action plan.

Today the city informed employees that those working from home under a directive by the city will be eligible to receive a payment of $48 per month, retroactive to last March, to cover additional expenses.

This morning Councilmember Sawant reminded her colleagues that her ordinance granting a right to counsel for tenants facing eviction will be up for final approval next Monday afternoon. Sawant also said that her office is starting to draft legislation that would ban the use of credit checks in residential tenant applications.

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