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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

November 24, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Sawant says she’s voting “no” on Seattle budget

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant

There will be a rare “no” vote Monday when the Seattle City Council adopts the city’s new budget for 2015 and 2016.

Despite getting her way with several amendments earlier this month, Councilmember Kshama Sawant will dissent, she says.

Because of the amendments, the council’s budget will include money to investigate a “millionaires tax,” fast track city workers to a $15-an-hour minimum wage and ramp up labor-law outreach and enforcement.

The budget vote is usually unanimous.

“We were able to pass some really good amendments,” said Sawant, of the Socialist Alternative party. “But if you look at the budget as a whole, it is still very much a business-as-usual budget. I have no intention of endorsing a budget that is fundamentally unjust.”

The council’s amendments represent about $14 million. The total budget is $4.8 billion a year, including $1 billion in annual general-fund spending.

Sawant says the plan Mayor Ed Murray delivered to the council in September doesn’t do enough to address homelessness, income inequality and spiking rents.

She says Seattle should be spending much more money on human services and should be putting the Seattle Police Department’s annual budget of nearly $300 million under more scrutiny.

Comments | More in Local government, Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council | Topics: budget, seattle city council, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant

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