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Be Informed, Be Involved
Be Informed. Be Involved.
Governance Structure
Legislative Process
Types of Council Action
How a Bill Becomes a Law
The City Budget Process
Public Comment Guide
Legislative Glossary
How to Read a Bill
Seattle Facts

The Legislative Process

City Council
The City Council establishes City laws, approves the annual budget, oversees the executive operating departments, and ensures the City provides a quality environment for its citizens through its policy-making role. City Council members also participate on various regional committees, and the Council plays a key role in regional issues such as the economy, education, transportation, the environment, public health, and many others.

Council Committees
The City Council assigns individual standing committees the responsibility of reviewing assigned legislative proposals and recommending action to the Full Council. The chair of each committee is responsible for reviewing assigned committee items for accuracy and completeness, for assessing programmatic and fiscal implications, and for obtaining expert review as necessary. The City Council adopts a work program for the year to identify major projects in the various standing committees. Current City Council Committees can be found at www.seattle.gov/council/com_assign.htm. Historic committee names and membership can be researched using the Council Committee History Database.

Full Council Meetings
Regular meetings of the Full Council are scheduled each Monday at 2 p.m. with exceptions as set forth in the Council Rules and Procedures. Any regular meeting of the Full Council may be canceled with the concurrence of a majority of the Council. Full Council and committee meetings are open to the public and broadcast by the Seattle Channel online and on Cable Channel 21.

Standing Committees
Standing committee meetings are held in the Council Chamber unless a specific alternate location is established by the Chair with concurrence of a majority of the regular members of the committee. All standing committees will be noticed as joint meetings of the Full Council. No final action shall be taken at any such Joint Committee/Full Council meeting.

Special Meetings
The Mayor, the President of the City Council, or any three Council members, may call a special meeting of the Council consistent with the provisions of RCW 42.30.080.

Executive Sessions
Executive sessions may be held during Full Council Meetings, Council Briefings, meetings of the Committee of the Whole, or standing or special committee meetings, and at other times as allowed by the Revised Code of Washington (RCW 42.30.110 and RCW 42.30.140) and the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC 5.24.020 and SMC 5.24.030).