SPD budget changes, revisited: some corrections, a better explanation, and a last-minute change in the works

Last Friday I posted a summary of the Council’s budget deliberations last week, including where they landed on SPD’s 2021 budget. Since then I’ve had several email exchanges with the Council’s staff, as they pointed out some inaccuracies in the numbers I posted (and they humbly admitted that they didn’t really explain it all very well). The Council’s unwillingness to try to impose a hiring freeze on SPD in 2021 was widely (but not always accurately) reported over the past few days, and it has created blowback from advocacy groups over the notion that SPD might actually grow in size …

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No big surprises as Council prepares to vote on 2021 budget amendments

The day is finally upon us: after seven weeks of work, tomorrow the Council will begin the process of voting on amendments to the Mayor’s proposed 2021 budget. This morning the City Council’s staff published the near-final list of amendments, and there are few, if any, surprises — though there will be some big speeches and tense moments as Council member Sawant forces her colleagues to take some uncomfortable votes.

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Mosqueda unveils 2021 budget balancing package

This afternoon, Council budget chair Teresa Mosqueda rolled out her “balancing package,” a collection of changes to the Mayor’s 2021 proposed budget that address Council members’ consensus priorities, while keeping the overall budget balanced as required by law. The package follows through with the cuts to SPD they proposed two weeks ago, and it cuts Mayor’s Durkan’s $100 million Equitable Communities Initiative down to $30 million. Shortly after it was released, Durkan issued a press release… largely praising it. Wait, what was that again?  

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“Black Brilliance” research project delivers preliminary budget recommendations to City Council

Last week the Black Brilliance Research Project, the coalition group led by Decriminalize Seattle and King County Equity Now and asked by the City Council to spearhead a participatory budgeting process for city investments to increase community safety in BIPOC communities, delivered a preliminary report to the Council with a set of recommendations on priorities for the 2021 city budget.

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City Council gives first clear signals on 2021 budget, and gets an early Christmas present from the budget office

Last week the City Council had its first round of discussions on concrete proposals to amend Mayor Durkan’s proposed 2021 budget. While we have to wait until November 10 to find out which of those proposals will move forward, there were enough clues in last week’s discussion to give us a good idea — and to tell us how the Council members are addressing big topics such as defunding SPD, investing in the BIPOC community, and addressing homelessness. Also, today the City Budget Office gave the Council some good news: revenues are coming in higher than earlier estimates.

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First look at Council’s proposed cuts to SPD

Tomorrow the City Council will discuss proposals to change SPD’s 2021 budget. There are 22 items on the list, including requests for reports and “statements of legislative intent” that don’t actually change the budget. Plus there are some revisions to cuts or transfers that are already in the Mayor’s proposed budget. It took a bit of work to sort it all out, but here’s a first look at the numbers.  

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