by Monday at 7:25 pm•
On Monday evening the Seattle City Council voted 8-1 to approve a $6.5 billion 2021 budget package that filled in COVID-19 holes, increased funding to address homelessness, revived Seattle's Green New Deal, and, among other things, cut the Seattle Police Department budget by around 20%.
In the heat of the summer's protests, seven out of nine council members heeded calls from activists and committed to defunding SPD by 50%. The budget the council passed today doesn't make cuts that deep and most likely will not reduce the size of the police force. The council also refused to impose a hiring freeze on SPD that would have resulted in a $9 million boon to city budget funds.
However, in an eleventh-hour move this morning, Select Budget Committee Chair Teresa Mosqueda introduced an amendment to cut $2 million from sworn salary funding to reflect new data on SPD attrition. The amendment eliminates any net increases in SPD officers in 2021.Continue reading »