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Public hearings and work sessions in the coming weeks provide people chances to comment on the budget.

People have several opportunities to weigh in on Multnomah County's next proposed budget.

Multnomah County Board Chair Deborah Kafoury released her $3.3 billion executive budget Thursday, May 5, which funds the county from July 2022 through June 2023.

The budget is a substantial increase from last year's $2.8 billion budget due to increases in funding from local bond measures, federal aid and taxes. It's the first time in years county departments weren't asked to curtail budgets or propose cuts, Kafoury said.

The release of the budget kicks off six weeks of public hearings, presentations and deliberations before the document is finalized.

The county has three public hearings for anyone to provide comments on the budget. The meetings are scheduled to take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on three upcoming Wednesdays — May 18, May 25 and June 1.

People can sign up to testify at the public hearings before the county board or submit written comments online at www.multco.us/budget-feedback.

People can also testify during budget work sessions scheduled on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from now until the board is scheduled to adopt the budget on June 16.

Each week of work sessions will cover broad categories of the budget. Work sessions will focus on individual departments' budgets or more specific topics within a department's budget.

The first meetings, which began Tuesday, May 10, cover general government aspects of the budget such as the Department of County Management and the Office of Diversity and Equity. Next week will cover public safety and human resources. The week after that will cover health and human services, with an extra day on the topic the following week on Tuesday, May 31.

On Wednesday, June 1, the board will hear an update the county's general fund forecast and a hearing with the Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission. The commission independent panel established by the state to monitor the financial affairs of local governments.

The board is scheduled to hold its final work sessions with deliberations and proposed amendments between 9 and 11 a.m. on June 7, 8 and 14. At the board's regular meeting June 16, commissioners can vote to finalize and adopt the budget.

For more detail on the county's budget calendar, visit www.multco.us/budget/calendar.


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