Dane County Executive Joe Parisi introduced the 2016 budget Thursday, which focuses largely on improving access to mental health resources and helping those recently released from prison reacclimate to society.
The budget, entitled “A Blueprint for Opportunity,” totals just over $572 million. If approved, the budget will increase taxes on the average Madison home by $31.84 annually.
The budget also aims at lessening “barriers to success” for disadvantaged individuals through social service and outreach programs. Additionally, it includes grants geared toward affordable housing and shelter for the homeless.
“I developed my budget for 2016 with a focus on identifying partners that when teamed with the resources of county government could accomplish the greatest amount of good for the people we work for,” Parisi said in a Thursday statement.
The budget comes in half a million dollars under the state-imposed levy limit, and includes the largest Department of Human Services budget ever.
At just under $285 million, the human services budget includes $750,000 for the development of a day resource center for the homeless in downtown Madison, as well as another $750,000 to assist in the development of housing partnerships.
In addition, $25,000 was assigned to the Eviction Prevention Fund, which was created in 2014 to assist families who have missed rental payments keep their homes.
The county has also partnered with the Madison Metropolitan School District by investing $250,000 to increase the number of mental health professionals in schools, building off similar projects in county school districts.
The county board will consider the approval of the budget in November.