Veterans and Human Services Levy 2006 - 2011
The first Veterans and Human Services Levy was passed by the voters of King County in November 2005 to generate much needed funding to help veterans, military personnel and their families and other individuals and families in need across the county through a variety of housing and supportive services. The levy allocates approximately $13.3 million per year for six years to implement housing and human services for these two broad groups. One half of the revenues are targeted for veterans and their families, and the remaining half is dedicated to other King County residents in need. The levy will remain in effect until 2011.
In August 2011, the voters of King County voted overwhelmingly to renew the Veterans and Human Services Levy for another six years. The new levy preserves the 50:50 split of proceeds between veterans, military personnel and their families and other individuals and families in need. The new levy also preserves the two citizen oversight boards.
The current Service Improvement Plan will continue to guide levy investments through the end of 2011. A new Service Improvement Plan to guide levy planning and services for 2012-2017 has been transmitted by the King County Executive to the Metropolitan King County Council for review and approval. Go here for more information.
Two citizen boards were created in February 2007. Both boards are responsible for reviewing the expenditure of levy proceeds, and for reporting annually to the King County Executive and the King County Council. The boards will make recommendations to the Executive and council on the issue of levy renewal or a replacement proposition prior to 2011.
Service Improvement Plan
The levy implementation ordinance required a Service Improvement Plan to detail how the county will proceed to provide enhanced services and supports for veterans, military personnel and their families, and others in need.
Procurement Plans and Requests For Proposals (RFPs)
Stakeholder input is an important part of the process of implementing the Veterans and Human Services Levy. As part of the levy implementation ordinance, procurement plans for each of the activities described in the Service Improvement Plan are posted for review and comment before being finalized for implementation. In many cases, an RFP follows. See Procurement Plans to view the board-approved plans or to review and comment on any procurement plans that may be posted for public review.
Background - Original Levy
King County voters said yes to a ballot measure in November 2005 by a margin of nearly 58 percent support. Half of the revenue raised will fund services for veterans, military personnel and their families, including services specific to veterans' needs such as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The other half will fund regional health and human services, including housing, homelessness prevention, mental health and substance abuse services and employment assistance.
A Veterans and Human Services Levy implementation ordinance (PDF) received approval by the King County Council on April 10, 2006. The legislation approved by the council required a service improvement plan outlining the use of the levy proceeds, clarified the roles and process for appointing the members of the citizens oversight boards, and required the county to re-examine priorities, policies and contracts for human services currently funded with county discretionary funds.
The levy ordinance identified three goal areas for service enhancements and funding allocations. Levy dollars will seek to:
- Reduce homelessness and emergency medical costs
- Reduce criminal justice system involvement
- Increase self-sufficiency by means of employment