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King County Executive Holds the Line on Services After Years of Cuts

King County Executive Dow Constantine has proposed a budget that holds the line on county services after years of cuts in the wake of the recession.

Constantine said the county has reduced costs by measures ranging from updating equipment to urging employees to use generic medicines. He said his agencies are also trying to limit red tape and speed up things like license renewals.

"We have saved a cumulative $111 million in the General Fund alone, and that money is today preserving services for the public," Constantine said.

Constantine said the savings will allow the county to reopen a sheriff’s precinct in Maple Valley, in the southeastern part of the county. He also wants to add four more officers to the sheriff’s department.

But Constantine said he expects a shortfall for the 2015–2016 budget. That’s mostly because the county’s sales tax and property tax revenues are not keeping up with inflation and population growth. And he said state law restricts the county’s ability to raise taxes.

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.