PORTLAND, Ore. — With a 4 to 1 vote, Multnomah County Commissioners approved a nearly four billion dollar spending plan for fiscal year 2025..

“There are many things to be proud of in this budget,” said Chair Jessica Vega Peterson.  She says it increases homeless and behavioral health services. “Living conditions for people on the street today are intolerable. There is no bigger or tougher problem than making sure thousands of our community members have a pathway off the streets.  And this budget shows that we are up to that challenge. We are not letting a single shelter bed close. We are investing and partnering with the city in ways we have never done before, both the City of Portland and our East County cities.

The one no vote came from Commissioner Sharon Meieran.  “Multnomah County is badly flailing without a plan. The budget approved by this board is proof that once again we have failed to make the fundamental choices necessary to drive systematic change or to measure the results.”  She said, “I regret only that I have but one no vote to give to my county.  Far from establishing focus, this budget obscures it. It hides investments of hundreds of millions of dollars beneath a bunch of mediocre rhetoric and buzzwords.”

A more balanced view came from Commissioner Jesse Beeson.  “I did not support every choice that we’ve agreed to in this budget, but this is how it goes. We compromise to govern across differences, in ways that we hope do not violate our core values.  We count the votes. We move forward towards the shore.”

And a nostalgic view came from Commissioner Lori Steggman.  “There are so many things in this budget that I am proud to vote on and when you combine this budget with those of the last seven years.  They amount to an extraordinary experience that I will cherish as I have served as your County Commissioner.”

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