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The Prince George’s County Council adopted a $4.09 billion balanced County Budget for Fiscal Year 2019 on Thursday, May 24. The FY 2019 County Budget becomes effective with the new Fiscal Year which begins July 1, 2018.
Prince George’s County Council Chair Dannielle Glaros (D) – District 3, during budget adoption remarks, recognized the active involvement of Prince George’s County residents during the budget process, and thanked her colleagues for their commitment to review the budget in a public and open manner.
“To the residents of this great County, this is your budget. From the testimony provided by our young people, to the comments of our County’s more seasoned citizens, you have been incredibly engaged in the Council’s budget process, telling us what your community needs, sharing your priorities, helping to guide this process from budget proposal to today’s budget adoption,” adding, “I also want to thank each of my colleagues. We have listened, dialogued and debated to be sure we reached a final budget package that is both responsive and responsible with the hard-earned dollars for which we have been entrusted.”
Overall, 64% of the FY 2019 Budget, over $2 billion, has been appropriated for education, which fully funds the budget requested by the Prince George’s County Board of Education and exceeds the state-mandated Maintenance of Effort by $13 million. Additional education funding enhances library security measures and expands the Prince George’s Community College COAST program which provides special academic counselors in high schools for students who need remedial help following graduation. The Council has increased education investments by a total of $133 million since FY 2015 and exceeded the state-mandated Maintenance of Effort for four consecutive years.
The newly-adopted spending plan also restores recession-related funding cuts to the Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) budget to support road and sidewalk repair; the improvement of County maintenance of medians, and trimming street trees to sustain and enhance the health, safety, social and economic well-being of our community.
To support critical redevelopment and revitalization or our communities, the 2019 County Budget includes full funding to rebuild the Tucker Road Ice Rink; $250-thousand to the Redevelopment Authority for Northern Gateway revitalization; and $150-thousand for FSC-First to support businesses affected by Purple Line construction. Funding is also being provided to the Small Business Development Center to address impacted businesses along the Purple Line.
The Council will continue its commitment to affordable housing with $2.5 million dollars in Gap Financing for new workforce housing and senior housing projects, and strengthen its social safety net of services by funding several additional ongoing Council initiatives addressing health care, telehealth, domestic violence, Federally Qualified Health Centers, nonprofits and immigrant services.
Chair Glaros addressed the importance of adopting a spending plan that celebrates the best of Prince George’s County.
“With the adoption of this budget, we celebrate our County’s growth, and our commitment to sound and responsible fiscal management. We can be proud of the collaborative and progressive work we have achieved together. We can look forward to a sustainable financial future. We are committing to a stronger, better Prince George’s County where people want to build, live, raise families, work, worship, start businesses and play. We are, together, strengthening our communities.”
In Bi-County budget action earlier this month, lawmakers from Prince George’s and Montgomery counties unanimously adopted the FY 19 Operating and Capital budgets for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC); the Bi-County portion of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC); and the Washington Suburban Transit Commission (WSTC). Both Councils approved the WSSC FY 2019 Operating and Capital budgets of $1.4 billion. The new budget includes a 4.5-percent rate increase for water and sewer customers.