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Council passes $12.6 billion biennial budget

The King County Council on November 17 unanimously adopted a final $12.59 billion budget for the 2021-22 biennium. While the budget represented a decrease of more than $930 million from the revised 2019-20 budget, it also makes key investments across the region in transit, racial justice, criminal legal reform, public health, housing and much more.

Despite the challenge of the necessary social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Council was able to conduct a thorough review of the Executive proposed budget through weeks of committee meetings, roundtable discussions and a final full council meeting. The council received a great deal of community input throughout the process to help inform members of the many and varied needs across King County. Councilmembers and staff were proud of accomplishing the herculean task amid the dual struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession.

Read the media release for details about the final budget.

Striking amendment to the Budget is available

The latest striking amendment for the 2021-22 King County budget reflects proposed changes to the County Executive’s initial proposal and includes increases, decreases, provisos, and expenditure restrictions. Download the PDF (2 MB).

Watch the introductory video to the 2021-22 Budget



Budget roundtable meetings

This year’s budget process includes a series of roundtable meetings. The purpose of a roundtable meeting is to conduct in-depth briefings on budget items aligned to a specific policy area. Four roundtables have been established:

• Justice Policyif that is being done at Council, Health, Housing, and Human Services
• Regional Services
• Local Services

Each roundtable will be chaired by two Councilmembers (“Co-Leads”) as designated by the Budget Chair, and membership will be designated by the Budget Chair. For more information, including dates and roundtable membership, please visit the roundtables page.

Council's budget review process begins

The King County Council has begun the process of reviewing the executive proposed 2021-2022 biennial King County budget. Due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, the budget review process will differ from years past. Below is a summary of that process, including key dates and participants. Leading the process will be Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles as Chair of the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee.

The budget process for Council began with King County Executive Dow Constantine’s presentation of his budget proposal to council on Sept. 22. Now that the budget has been transmitted, the council will hold a series of meetings and roundtable discussions to consider the proposal and make changes as deemed necessary. To expedite that process and allow councilmembers to focus on the budget, most committees will stand down until the budget is finalized.

The budget deliberations will include committee meetings and roundtable discussions focused on different aspects of the budget. Below is an outline of the schedule for that process:

• This Week: Budget and Fiscal Management Committee (BFM) briefing from the separately elected officials to present their proposed budgets to Council. 9:30 a.m. – noon (est) Wednesday, Sept. 30
• Week 1 (Oct. 5-9): Budget & Fiscal Management Committee initial briefings. Meetings set for 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
• Week 2 (Oct. 12-16): Roundtable meetings to conduct in-depth briefings of budgets aligned to a specific policy area.
Each roundtable will be co-chaired by two councilmembers. Meetings daily from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Friday.
• Week 3 (Oct. 19-23): Budget & Fiscal Management Committee final briefings on budgets that still need deliberation. Meetings 9:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday and Wednesday, and one evening meeting for public comment (see details in next section)
• Week 4 (Oct. 26-30): BFM briefings on Executive proposed ordinances to support proposed budget. Meetings 9:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday and Wednesday.
• Week 5 (Nov. 2-6): Deadlines for budget striking amendment and amendments to the striking amendment.
• Week 6 (Nov. 9-13): BFM meeting on Tuesday (9:30 a.m., Nov. 10) to take action on Executive proposed legislation related to the budget. BFM meeting on Thursday (9:30 a.m., Nov. 12) to take action on the biennial budget ordinance including striking amendment and any amendments therein. A backup BFM meeting is designated for Nov. 13 in case an additional meeting is necessary.
• Week 7 (Nov. 16-20): Special council meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17 to take final action on the 2021-22 biennial budget. A backup special council meeting is designated for Nov. 24 in case an additional meeting is necessary.

For planned meetings that will include time for public comment, please read the entry below.  

The public is invited to comment on King County's biennial budget

In its review of the county's biennial budget, the King County Council values the input of county residents. Traditionally, public hearings have been held in different regions of the county for the public to attend, learn about the county budget and the challenges being faced at the time, and provide feedback. Because of the pandemic, these meetings have moved online. The public is invited to provide oral comments at one of the meetings below or by email as described further down.

To participate in these meetings except the November 17 meeting, please visit the Council's Budget and Fiscal Management Committee web page for the information needed to join the online meeting: https://www.kingcounty.gov/council/committees/budget.aspx. Information on joining the meeting on November 17 will be provided later on this page.

   • Budget and Fiscal Management Committee (BFM): Wednesday, September 30, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. (estimated) 
   • BFM: Wednesday, October 21, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. (est.) 
   • BFM: Tuesday, October 27, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. (est.) 
   • BFM: Wednesday, October 28, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. (est.) 
   • BFM: Tuesday,November 10, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. (est.) 
   • BFM: Thursday, November 12, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. (est.)  
   • Council: Tuesday, November 17, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (est.)  

Members of the public may also provide input on the county budget via email. For information, please visit the the budget website's public input page.

Executive Constantine presents $12.4 billion 2021-22 biennial budget proposal

King County Executive Dow Constantine laid out his $12.4 billion proposal for the 2021-22 biennial budget on Tuesday, Sept. 22 in a presentation to the King County Council. His proposal, which is already under review by Councilmembers, includes a host of key investments as well as some cutbacks due to the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some key aspects of the budget include:

• A call for the Council to enact a 0.1% sales tax increase to fund a $400 million investment in permanent supportive housing for people who are chronically homeless.
• A shifting of funds away from the King County Sheriff’s Office toward “Restorative Community Pathways,” including divesting $4.6 million in marijuana tax revenue from law enforcement. A total of $6.2 million would be shifted to fund community based support for youth to avoid probation violations and incarceration.
• Investments in unincorporated King County including a community center and other projects for Skyway, White Center, Fairwood, East Federal Way and East Renton, open space conservation, parks improvements throughout unincorporated King County, added Metro service and more. These investments would total almost $60 million, according to the proposal.
• Funds for several new RapidRide bus lines to serve areas including Delridge, Madison, and Renton/Kent/Auburn, aligning routes and other services with Link expansion, and continued investment in electric buses.
• New and continued funding for wastewater, coastline, green space, trails and anti-climate change efforts. 

To see the full presentation, you can watch the video here. And download the full budget proposal here. We will add additional or new links once amendments or other changes are brought forward.

General budget review process and timeline

The Metropolitan King County Council is beginning the process of reviewing the 2021-22 biennial King County Budget. Due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, the budget process will differ from years past. To help facilitate public involvement, we will share details about the process here, including key dates and updates as it moves forward. King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles will lead the Council through the process as Chair of the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee.

On Tuesday, September 22, King County Executive Dow Constantine presented his budget proposal to the Council. The Council's deliberation process will likely wrap up in mid-November with the adoption of the 2021-22 budget. To expedite that process and allow councilmembers to focus on the budget, all other council committees will stand down until the budget is finalized.

The public is encouraged to take part in the process by commenting on various aspects of the budget and suggesting changes along the way. Several meetings will allow time for public comment on the budget. Due to the resource intensive coordination involved with conducting public comment for remote meetings, public comment has been limited to the following meetings:

   • Budget and Fiscal Management Committee (BFM): Wednesday, September 30, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. (estimated) 
   • BFM: Wednesday, October 21, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. (est.) 
   • BFM: Tuesday, October 27, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. (est.) 
   • BFM: Wednesday, October 28, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. (est.) 
   • BFM: Tuesday,November 10, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. (est.) 
   • BFM: Thursday, November 12, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. (est.)  
   • Council: Tuesday, November 17, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (est.)  

This page will be updated with more information, including links to the full budget proposal, as the process moves forward, so check back for more information.

Contact the Council
Main phone:
206-477-1000
TTY/TDD:
206-296-1024
Email:
council@kingcounty.gov