King County Budget

There's relatively good news on King County’s budget for 2012: In a big change from recent years, Executive Dow Constantine is proposing no cuts to services. 

Constantine says though it is “surrounded by seas of red ink,” King County is “an island of relative stability” after several years of budget cuts and streamlining.

King County prosecutors have spent nearly $700,000 on two active death penalty cases, but the defense cost is even higher — $4.3 million and climbing.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg told The Seattle Times death penalty opponents are trying to hold off executions by running up the bills for investigators, forensics and expert witnesses.

AP

King County is in good shape and getting better.

That’s the message from County Executive Dow Constantine during his “State of the County” speech Monday. Speaking from the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, Constantine touted progress in taming the county’s budget problems and making county government more efficient. 

The conflict continues over an upcoming pay raise for sheriff's deputies in King County.  Executive Dow Constantine has rejected a proposal from the Police Officers Guild to cut their pay temporarily.  He says their offer would have cost more than it saved. 

Flickr?ManuelW

King County says it now has a glut of jail space and must consider cutting the rate it charges to cities to house offenders.  That comes after years of dire warnings about jail over-crowding.  Cities in south King County are building a new jail (which opens next year) for $56 million in Des Moines. 

As King County makes massive cuts to help balance its budget, the union representing King County sheriff’s deputies has, for months, refused to consider a wage freeze next year.  Even as other unions in the county have agreed to do so.  But deputies are voting on a proposal to reduce their upcoming pay increase. 

King County Budget
King County Television

The King County Council has voted for a lean 2011 budget that slashes 300 positions, many in law enforcement. Even some council members acknowledge it could hurt public safety.