Mayor Ed Murray today issued the following statement after the Washington State Legislature adjourned sine die:
“Thanks to the Washington State Legislature, and particularly the Seattle Delegation, for their service to the citizens of Washington and their work in the 2016 Legislative Session. I know from experience that reaching final agreement on a budget requires a huge commitment of energy and patience.
“Several Seattle projects received funding in the Capital Budget, including critical funds to support shelter for youth and those needing mental health support, as well as a new Shelter and Navigation Center to help direct those in need to critical housing and social services.
“The additional funding to support all-day Kindergarten and class-size reductions for elementary students will support better educational outcomes.
“Resources to support two additional basic law enforcement training classes will also help Seattle meet our goals for additional officers to serve the community.
“The Legislature’s additional investments for housing and homeless, however, are woefully inadequate. While an additional $8 million to the Housing Trust fund and other investments in mental health and homelessness are welcome, they do not go nearly far enough in helping us address the current crisis. We need the state to step up with significantly more resources for affordable housing, mental health treatment and addiction services.
“I am also disappointed that the Legislature did not approve the preservation property tax exemption that would help us maintain an estimated 3,000 affordable homes in Seattle. In my experience, even the best new bills often take more than one year to pass. We will be back next year to support this bipartisan legislation.”