UPPER MARLBORO – For the first time, the Prince George’s County Council passed a budget that surpasses $4 billion. The total approved budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 is $4.09 billion, an increase of $215 million, or 5.5 percent, more than the FY 2018 budget. The council unanimously approved the budget on May 24. “With […]
UPPER MARLBORO – For the first time, the Prince George’s County Council passed a budget that surpasses $4 billion. The total approved budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 is $4.09 billion, an increase of $215 million, or 5.5 percent, more than the FY 2018 budget.
The council unanimously approved the budget on May 24.
“With the adoption of this budget, we celebrate our county’s growth and our commitment to sound and responsible fiscal management,” said Councilwoman Danielle Glaros, chair of the county council. “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.”
The FY 2019 budget fully funds the amount requested by the Prince George’s Board of Education. Sixty-four percent, or more than $2 billion, of the budget is allocated to education. That is an increase of $72.3 million, or 3.7 percent, more than the FY 2018 budget.
The education portion of the budget includes full funding for the Creating Opportunities for Academic Success & Transfer (COAST) Program, which will place academic counselors from Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) in every county high school. These counselors assist students who may require remedial help after graduation.
The budget also includes funding for library security.
The county Department of Public Works and Transportation experienced funding cuts following the Great Recession. The approved budget restores those cuts, and those returned dollars will support road and sidewalk repair, median maintenance and street tree trimming.
The council further added funds the Department of Public Works and Transportation for “more frequent county right of way, vacant lot and street tree trimmers to reduce the backlog of requests,” Glaros said.
The approved budget includes full funding for the reconstruction of the Tucker Road ice rink.
The budget allocates $250,000 to the Redevelopment Authority for the revitalization of the Northern Gateway, and $150,000 for FSC-First to support businesses that are affected by the construction of the Purple Line.
“Economic development is on the rise,” said Councilwoman Karen Toles. “We are moving in the right direction, and it’s because of the decisions that this (council) has made to put funding in the budget to make that happen.”
The FY 2019 budget includes $500,000 for the council’s domestic violence grant program.
The budget allots $2.5 million in gap financing for new workforce housing and senior housing.
The budget also includes continued funding for the Immigration Services and Language Access (ISLA) Initiative, which provides full legal representation to county residents who have been detained and may be deported.
Glaros recognized the role county residents played through their participation in the budget process. She noted that the public hearings this year had record attendance.
“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,” Glaros said. “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.”
County Executive Rushern Baker, III presented his proposed $4.09 billion budget in March.
“I want to thank Chair Glaros, Vice Chair (Todd) Turner, and their colleagues on the county council for their collaboration and partnership during this budget process,” Baker said. “The investments in the approved FY 2019 budget will continue the dramatic transformation of Prince George’s County in the upcoming fiscal year.”
Baker has 10 days after he receives the approval of the budget to sign or veto it. If he signs onto the budget, it will become active when the new fiscal year begins on July 1.