Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers on Tuesday proposed the 2024 budget for Snohomish County, according to a news release. This budget funds all county operations from Jan. 1, 2024, until Dec. 31, 2024.
“We have important and exciting work to do,” Somers said. “The 2024 proposed budget reflects our values and priorities, the things we hope to advance on behalf of our residents. For me, those priorities are: improving public safety; saving lives by helping our most vulnerable residents; preserving and protecting our natural resources; ensuring we grow wisely; strengthening our economy; and serving all of our community equitably.”
The total proposed budget including all funds is $1,660,867,136. The proposed General Fund budget is $330,146,965.
“We appreciate the collaboration we have with the Executive and his staff,” said Snohomish County Council Chair Jared Mead. “The council understands the hard work that goes into balancing the county’s many priorities. We look forward to working together to approve a balanced and forward-looking budget later this year.”
“The yearly budget is the opportunity for us to shape how Snohomish County will respond to today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities,” Snohomish County Council Vice Chair Nate Nehring said. “The process in Snohomish County is transparent and allows us to make decisions grounded on reality.”
There are a number of programs addressing issues of particular concern to the public:
The proposed budget for 2024 prioritizes public safety. Over 75 percent of the General Fund budget is directed toward law and justice agencies, including the pay increase that the county agreed to this year for Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Included in the proposed budget is $250,000 to create a program in the jail to address the challenges of the drug epidemic. By safely supporting people in the jail through detox, and facilitating treatment and a path to long-term recovery, Snohomish County will have another tool available to help disrupt the drug epidemic’s impacts on individuals and the community. With this funding, the current medical program in the jail can be more robust and more effective.
There is new funding proposed to provide trauma kits to deputies and training on how to use them. When they respond to violent incidents, deputies can immediately provide life-saving assistance to victims, even before paramedics arrive.
Somers is proposing to start clinical services within the Health Department to provide vaccines and screening services to members of the community who lack access to basic health care services. Providing vaccines and screening services for disease helps prevent death, detects serious illnesses early and avoids spread, and keeps the whole community healthier.
The proposed 2024 budget continues to make progress in removing fish-blocking culverts.
The county, in partnership with the families and community, is on track to complete the SR-530 landslide memorial in time for the tenth anniversary on March 22, 2024.
In the 2024 recommended budget, Somers is proposing a Housing and Behavioral Health Capital Fund. This plan proposes spending new housing funds over the next five years to create 550 units of affordable housing, 150 units of emergency bridge and permanent supportive housing, and expand behavioral health facilities and services.
In 2024, the county plans to launch the Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Applied Research and Development Center at Paine field Airport. The SAF Center will be a global leader for providing the next generation of fuel to the aviation industry.
In addition to these priorities, the budget funds the County Council, Paine Field Airport, the Departments of Emergency Management, Finance, Human Resources, Health, Human Services, Information Technology, Facilities & Fleet, Conservation and Natural Resources, Planning and Development Services, and Public Works. It also funds the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office (both law enforcement and corrections), District Court, the Hearing Examiner’s Office, the Medical Examiner’s Office, the Office of the Public Advocate, the Office of Public Defense, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Assessor, Auditor, Clerk, Treasurer, Office of Recovery and Resilience, the Office of Social Justice and Superior Court.
Now that the proposed budget has been submitted to to the council, it will begin its process of deliberations and public hearings. The council generally approves a budget by the end of November.