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Kohl-Welles to continue as Budget Chair, other key committee roles in 2021

Summary

King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles will continue as chair of the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee in 2021, as well as taking on several other key committee roles.

Story

King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles will continue as chair of the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee in 2021, as well as taking on several other key committee roles.

“I am pleased to continue serving as the Budget and Fiscal Management Chair in 2021 and am thankful for receiving the confidence of my colleagues in supporting my appointment,” Kohl-Welles said. “Last year, 2020, was a difficult year in just about every facet, and navigating eight budgets was no exception. Going forward, any budget we take up in 2021 will also be challenging due to the ongoing pandemic and its associated impacts. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever that we prioritize basic needs, public health, and our economic recovery, and do so equitably in our BIPOC and low-income and underserved communities.”

Kohl-Welles was unanimously approved by the council to lead the budget work again in 2021. Additionally, she will continue to chair the Executive Finance Committee and serve on the County’s Forecast Council. She also will serve as Vice-Chair for the Community, Health and Housing Services Committee, and as a member of the Committee of the Whole, Mobility and Environment Committee, Law and Justice Committee, Employment Administration Committee, and Board of Health, as well as an alternate to the Regional Policy Committee.

She was lauded by her colleagues for her efforts to shepherd through a 2021-22 biennial budget that invested with purpose amid the financial struggles triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, and two supplemental budgets for 2020. Additionally, she led the council in approving five supplemental budgets to respond to the pandemic. In 2021, the council will likely face additional COVID-19 supplemental budgets, as well as other fiscal considerations.

“Looking back at 2020, we were able to accomplish a lot in all eight budgets we passed – all unanimously,” Kohl-Welles said. “We responded to our residents’ and communities’ essential needs, including funding our public health response, the development of Isolation and Quarantine facilities, COVID testing and PPE distribution, public safety, shelter de-intensification, food security programs, rental and restaurant assistance, arts and culture programs, digital equity, domestic violence response, and much more. We also began addressing racism in our juvenile and criminal justice systems and in affordable housing development. My council colleagues and I were able to agree on distributing County and Federal funds quickly and respectfully, and I look forward to continuing to work with them to tackle the challenges we will face in 2021 head-on.”

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