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King County Council sends kids levy extension to voters

April 21, 2021 Updated Wed., April 21, 2021 at 9 p.m.

Associated Press

Associated Press

SEATTLE – Voters in King County will decide in August on a proposed extension and expansion of a levy that has given millions of dollars to 570 programs over the last five years in an effort to foster child development.

The Metropolitan King County Council on Tuesday unanimously approved County Executive Dow Constantine’s proposal to continue and expand the expiring Best Starts for Kids, sending it to the ballot in August, the Seattle Times reported.

The proposal would raise about $872 million over the next six years, according to County Council staff. The owner of a median-priced home in King County would pay $114 per year for the new levy, Constantine’s office said.

“Best Starts for Kids has been shaped by families, community members and participating organizations actually more than the county itself,” Councilmember Joe McDermott said Tuesday, calling it the most progressive piece of legislation he’s worked on in his public service career.

The money would continue to go to previous priorities, including preventing homelessness, youth mentoring, health centers in schools and providing in-home services for new parents. It would also go toward increasing access to child care, with goals to subsidize child care for more than 3,000 low-income kids.

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