Human services levy renewal passes

Montgomery County voters next month will decide whether or not to approve Issue 1. The measure is a levy renewal that raises funding for a wide array of human services. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
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Montgomery County voters next month will decide whether or not to approve Issue 1. The measure is a levy renewal that raises funding for a wide array of human services. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Montgomery County voters continued their support of the Human Services levy as 74.2% voted for the renewal of the levy, according final, unofficial results from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

The eight-year, 8.21-mill renewal levy was ahead all Tuesday evening as precincts reported their totals.

The levy has received more support this election cycle than the last time it was last approved in 2014 with 64% of the vote. Montgomery County is fairly unique in that it only has two human services levies — most of its peers around the state have more levies restricted to specific uses.

The county’s combined levies have never failed since they were first approved decades ago, officials said, and about 43% of levy services are provided to citizens in the urban core, while the rest go to residents who live elsewhere in the county.

The levies directly fund more than 35 nonprofits, but those organizations subcontract with many other service providers.

The levy generates about $73 million annually for a large variety of human services in Montgomery County and supporters say those services are needed now more than ever.

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The human services levy renews the larger of two countywide levies that pay for services for elderly and frail residents, abused and neglected children, people with developmental disabilities, the homeless, unemployed workers and people in crisis, including those struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues.

Supporters say more than 50,000 people in the county receive direct levy-funded services, they benefit the entire community.

“This human services levy touches the lives of every single person in the community,” said Helen Jones-Kelley, executive director of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) of Montgomery County, which receives nearly half of its revenue from the county’s human services levies.

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