NEWS GLEAMS | County Council Seeks Budget Feedback, Financial Assistance for Rent, Childcare, Student Loan Debts

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷


✨Gleaming This Week✨


Flyer advertising the King County Council's Budget Town Hall on Oct. 19.
(Graphic courtesy of King County.)

King County Budget Requests Constituency Feedback

King County’s Biennial Budget — which totals nearly $15.8 million — establishes the County’s spending priorities from January 2023 through the end of 2024. King County Executive Dow Constantine has transferred his proposed budget to the King County Council. The council will now debate over, amend, and eventually adopt the budget before the end of the year. A timeline is as follows:

A graphic shows the timeline of the King County Budget, from the budget proposal to the Council vote
(Graphic courtesy of King County.)

Review the Executive’s proposals in detail and find opportunities for public comment on the King County Council’s 2023–24 Biennial Budget webpage.

Find a summary of the main items in the Proposed Budget at Bit.ly/3DV8za0

WAYS TO OFFER PUBLIC COMMENT

The King County Council will be holding several in-person and hybrid town halls to hear directly from constituents regarding the proposed King County Budget. They include:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 19, 6–7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25, 9:30 a.m.–12 p.m. (est.)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 26, 9:30 a.m.–12 p.m. (est.)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 8, 9:30 a.m.–12 p.m. (est.)
COMMENT METHODS
  • In-Person: At the King County Courthouse (10th Floor Council Chambers, 516 3rd Ave., Seattle WA 98104)
  • Virtual, via Zoom: Virtual comment will take place via Zoom, using the Webinar ID: 827 8941 9181
  • Virtual, by phone: Call 1-253-215-8782
  • E-mail: Send a message to Budget.Council@KingCounty.gov. At the top of your message, please write (1) your name and (2) your complete street address. This information is recommended but not required.

For more information on connecting virtually, please visit King County Council’s website and refer to the section titled “Connecting to the Webinar.”


United Way of King County Offers Rental Assistance for King County Residents

United Way of King County is distributing rental assistance payments on behalf of King County, and residents now have another opportunity to register to receive rental payments. United Way is currently processing applications from its waiting list to disburse 12 months’ rent to households that qualify.

Thanks to an additional round of funding from King County, those who are not already on the waiting list may view eligibility and sign up for rental assistance through United Way’s Get Help With Rent page. Information is on the website in multiple languages. Please note that being placed on the waiting list will not guarantee rental assistance, but is the first step for potential consideration.

Rent Assistance Eligibility
  • Your household MUST owe back rent to your landlord at your current address. 
  • Your CURRENT address must be in King County, Washington. 
  • Your household has NOT received rent assistance since June 1, 2021.

United Way is working with nine other agencies to get funds out into the community, and distribution will continue through at least May 2023. The average amount per household will range from $8,000 to $11,000 depending on family size. Rental assistance payments will go directly to property owners.


Flyer advertising the open application for the Best Starts for Kids Childcare Subsidy Program.
(Graphic courtesy of Best Starts for Kids.)

Best Starts for Kids Child Care Subsidy Program Applications Open

A voter-approved initiative, Best Starts for Kids (BSK) aims to ensure that every baby born or child raised in King County will reach adulthood happy, healthy, safe, and thriving. Starting in 2022, these investments include $20 million per year for a new childcare subsidy program.

Steps for potential participation include:

  1. Families who are interested in the subsidy can fill out a five-minute eligibility form to see if they may qualify for help paying for child care. This is the first step in the application process.
  2. BSK will contact families within two weeks of submitting the eligibility form, with an invitation to complete the full application or with an update on their status. There may be more eligible families than the program can serve.
  3. Families will complete a full application and verification process.
  4. Families will select a childcare provider and register them to receive payments.

Website and eligibility form available at BSKChildcare.org in Amharic, English, Oromo Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Interpreters available for all other languages to complete an application over the phone at 206-208-6865.


Federal Student Loan Debt Relief Portal Launches

Eligible student loan borrowers can now apply for a full or partial discharge of their loans through the Federal Student Loan Debt Relief website.

Federal Pell Grant recipients may receive loan forgiveness of up to $20,00. Non-Pell Grant recipients may receive loan forgiveness of up to $10,000.

Borrowers who earned less than $125,000 as an individual or $250,000 as a household in 2020 or 2021 are eligible for relief.

Applications are available in English and Spanish on desktop and mobile devices.


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