skip to main content

Department of Executive Services

Delivering excellent service every day

Department of Executive Services
CNK-ES-0135
401 Fifth Ave., Suite 135
Seattle, WA 98104
206-263-9750

Caroline Whalen, County Administrative Officer

Lobbyist registration

King County Code Chapter 1.07 requires lobbyists, lobbyist employers, and grassroots organizations who lobby the county to influence legislation to register and provide quarterly reports. The code is intended to promote full disclosure of lobbying in order to protect the openness and integrity of the legislative process.

 
Who should I contact with additional requests?

If you have additional questions or feedback regarding this webpage, please email Kelli.Williams@kingcounty.gov or call Kelli Williams at 206-263-9753.

 
Where can I get copies of the county code that covers lobbying?

Copies of King County Code Chapter 1.07 are available at the Department of Executive Services, 401 Fifth Ave., Suite 215, Seattle, WA 98104. Electronic copies are available by clicking on the link below.

 
Where can I find a current list of registered King County lobbyists and lobbyist employers?

A current list of registered King County lobbyists and their employers is available here: Lobbyist List

 
How are violations of the lobbyist disclosure code reported?

Except for allegations of untimely filing of statements and reports, which are processed by the Department of Executive Services, complaints alleging a violation of any provision of the lobbyist disclosure code should be filed with the King County Ombudsman.

Only written complaints, describing the basis for the complainant's belief that the code has been violated, verified and signed by the complainant will be accepted. The complainant may state in the written complaint whether the complainant desires their name be withheld from disclosure if the complaint is the subject to public disclosure.

 
Where can lobbyist forms be obtained?

Copies of the forms are available at the Department of Executive Services, 401 Fifth Ave., Suite 215, Seattle, WA 98104, by contacting us via email, or by calling 206-263-9753. Additionally, electronic copies are available below.

  • L1 - Lobbyist Registration (Word | PDF)
  • L2.1 - Lobbyist Quarterly Expense Report (Word | PDF)
  • L2.2 - Lobbyist January Expense Report (Word | PDF)
  • L3 - Lobbyist Employer's Report of Registered Lobbyists and Expenses (Word | PDF)
  • L4 - Professional Grass Roots Lobbying Campaign Report (Word | PDF)
 
Where can reports be filed?

Lobbyists, lobbyist employers, and professional grass root lobbyists are required to file registration and expense reports by completing and forwarding a signed original copy of each required form, prior to required deadlines, via mail to:

Department of Executive Services
Attn: Lobbyist Registration Program
401 Fifth Ave., Suite 215
Seattle, WA 98104-1818

Forms may also be dropped off in person at the same address above.

Please note original signatures are required on all documents, therefore electronic copies of forms cannot be accepted at this time.

 
What are the consequences of not filing?

It is a violation of county code for an employer to compensate a lobbyist who is not registered with King County except upon condition that the employee register as a lobbyist within seven days. Failure to register will result in a written warning for the first offense and fines for subsequent offenses.

 
What are the filing deadlines for each form?

Form Name

Who Must File

Filing Deadline

L1: Lobbyist Registration Any person who lobbies for compensation Within 7 days of being employed
L2.1: Lobbyist Quarterly
Expense Report
Any person who lobbies for compensation April 15, July 15, and October 15
L2.2: Lobbyist January
Expense Report
Any person who lobbies for compensation

January 15

L3: Lobbyist Employer's
Report of Registered
Lobbyists and Expenses
Employers of registered lobbyists Last day of February
L4: Professional
Grass Roots Lobbying
Campaign Report
A person or group that spends, or knows they will spend in excess of $10,000 within twelve (12) consecutive months presenting a program addressed to the public to influence legislation that may be the subject of action by the council As soon as person or group spends or knows they will spend $10,000 within 12 consecutive months

 
What are the filing requirements?

Lobbyists: Each lobbyist (any person who lobbies for compensation) must file a Lobbyist Registration (Form L1) statement for each employer within seven days after being employed or otherwise being retained as a lobbyist. Citizen lobbyists, technical experts, media personnel and government officials (plus their officers and employees) are exempt from filing a lobbyist registration statement. Lobbyists are also required to prepare a Lobbyist Quarterly Expense Report (Form L2.1) for the first three quarters of the year, due April 15, July 15, and October 15 respectively, and a Lobbyist January Expense Report (Form L2.2), due January 15, which covers total expenditures for the preceding calendar year.

Lobbyist employers: Employers of registered lobbyists are also required to report their total annual expenditures for lobbying by either filing a Lobbyist Employer's Report of Registered Lobbyists and Expenses (Form L3), due the last day of February for the prior year, or by signing each of their employee's Lobbyist January Expense Report.

Grass root lobbyists: Professional grass root lobbyists need to register by filing Professional Grass Roots Lobbying Campaign Report(s) (Form L4). A Professional Grass Root Lobbyist is defined as a person or group that spends, or knows they will spend in excess of $10,000 within 12 consecutive months presenting a program addressed to the public to influence legislation that may be the subject of action by the council.

 
What is lobbying?

Per King County Code Chapter 1.07 (PDF), lobby or lobbying means: "attempting to influence, by communicating with councilmembers or council staff, the Metropolitan King County Council to develop, adopt, modify or reject legislation, or attempt to influence, by communicating with the executive or executive staff, the King County executive to approve or veto adopted legislation, or part thereof, presented to him or her."

 
What is not lobbying?

Communications or other actions:

  • with the members of an association or organization by that same association or organization;
  • made by a person related to quasi-judicial proceeding before the council,
  • made by a person related to proposed motions to confirm or reject appointments by the executive,
  • made by a person related to proposed motions to exercise the councils power of appointment or removal,
  • related to proposed employment actions concerning legislative branch employees;
  • by any county employee acting within the scope of his/her employment
  • by representatives of labor organizations related to existing or proposed collective bargaining agreement(s) with the county or other legislation which could affect specific existing or proposed collective bargaining agreements; or
  • by a person with the executive or executive staff regarding legislation at any time prior to its adoption by the council.
 
Who is exempt from filing lobbyist disclosure forms by ordinance?

Citizen lobbyists: Persons who lobby without compensation or with compensation or other consideration limited to reimbursement for minor incidental personal expenses, such as mileage, parking, meals, photocopying, telephone and facsimiles.

Technical experts: Employees of a business, or contracted experts who meet on an irregular basis (less than six times per quarter) with councilmembers or the executive or appear before public sessions of the council or its committees to provide expert testimony.

Government officials, officers and employees: Elected officials, officers and employees of any local, state or federal government agency acting within the scope of their representation of or employment with such agency are not required to register or report unless they are specifically retained by a government agency to lobby.

Media persons: News or feature reporting activities and editorial comment by working members of the press, radio or television and the publication or dissemination thereof by a newspaper, book publisher, regularly published periodical, radio station or television station.

 
Who is required to file lobbyist disclosure forms in King County?

Any person who lobbies for compensation unless exempt by ordinance.