King County Council Committee of the Whole
(King County Council COW)

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The Metropolitan King County Council, the legislative body of King County, Washington, consists of nine members elected by district to four-year terms. The Council adopts laws, sets policy, and holds final approval over the budget. The Council uses its committee structure to consider the legislation before it. Ordinances and motions (policy statements) are assigned to a King County Council committee for consideration, and then are recommended to the full Council for action. The King County Executive is not a member of the Council, and is a separately elected official. The Executive submits legislation to the Council for consideration and has veto power over ordinances passed by the Council.

The King County Council Committee of the Whole (King County Council COW) includes all nine councilmembers. It considers issues of interest to the entire council, including appointments to the state legislature and department directors and key subordinate units in the executive branch; the annual legislative program; legislation before the federal, state and local governments that affect King County; the King County Strategic Plan; oversight of Harborview Medical Center; arts and culture and associated levies, if any; the Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account; gun safety; the immigrant and refugee commission; issues related to the census; the charter review commission; homelessness, including the King County Regional Homelessness Authority; COVID-19 pandemic response, excluding supplemental appropriations; Racial equality and gender equity and other program and policy matters.  The committee of the whole shall conduct town hall meetings on issues of significance.

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