King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn on Monday proposed legislation that would enact a countywide hiring freeze until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn on Monday introduced an ordinance that, if approved by the King County Council, would enact a hiring freeze for all nonessential King County personnel until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
“King County government is downstream from the full economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we must start exercising frugality in preparation for the financial shock that will come in our next budget cycle,” Dunn said. “Many businesses and organizations are having to make similar spending cuts — and King County is no exception.”
According to King County’s Office of Performance, Strategy, and Budget, the reduction in economic activity due to COVID-19 has already dramatically affected County revenue. The full impact to the County’s budget remains uncertain but will be significant. The county's single biggest expense is the salary and benefit costs associated with employees.
The hiring freeze would not include medical professionals, Public Health employees, King County Sheriff’s Office positions, corrections officers in the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, positions that are fully grant funded, or any temporary workers needed to provide services related to the COVID-19 response.
Dunn’s hiring freeze ordinance will be referred to the Committee of the Whole where it will be considered by May 19, 2020.