This week: more budget!

There aren’t a lot of meetings this week, but they ought to be informative.

Monday morning’s Council Briefing has no presentations on the agenda. Don’t be surprised if the Council members talk about last week’s big announcements, including the SODO Arena and Key Arena. We should also get more information on when the move-in fee legislation will get scheduled for another hearing in Council member Sawant’s committee next month.

Monday afternoon’s Full Council meeting has only one major item on the agenda: the previously-held legislation to allow Seattle City Light to join the California Energy Imbalance Market.

This week’s Introduction and Referral Calendar has one item of note: the confirmation of Dylan Orr as Director of the Office of Labor Standards. Since the Office of Labor Standards has now been spun out of the Office of Civil Rights into its own department, Orr, who has been serving as Director of OLS for a year, must now be confirmed by the Council.

There are two Budget Committee meetings this week. On Monday morning after the Council Briefing, the Council will hear an update from the City Budget Office on revenue predictions for 2016, 2017 and 2018. That will be the final word on how much money the city will have to spend (barring new taxes and fees established by the Council).

On Wednesday morning, budget chair Tim Burgess unveils his “initial balancing package,” his first cut on a balanced budget that incorporates changes to the Mayor’s budget with consensus support of Council members. As per the budget development calendar, the Council will then work up a second round of proposed changes, which will then be discussed next week.


  1. Hi Kevin–In past years, the council’s balancing budget packages were not based on consensus, but on who could get a simple majority–5 votes. Has this really changed? George Howland Jr,

    1. Yes and no. They now do the budget in two rounds that work differently. In the first round, any Council member can propose a change to the Mayor’s budget, they all get discussed, and the ones that have consensus support are folded into the first “balancing package.” In the second round, changes need three Council members’ support in order to get discussed and majority support to get adopted, like in past years.

      1. This is very interesting. So in order to get into the first balancing package, a budget change needs “consensus support,” by which I understand you to mean 9 assents of some kind (votes?).

        1. Basically, yes. There’s no formal voting; it’s all informal. The point seems to be to just handle the non-controversial stuff quickly. In the second round a council member could put forth a proposal to remove something that was incorporated in the first round, and in the end the Council still needs to formally vote to approve the entire budget, so nothing gets into the official budget without at least one vote to approve it.

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