The Howard County Council approved a $1.56 billion operating budget and $179.3 million for capital improvements. The Baltimore Sun reports:
The overall operating budget will increase 8.8 percent, but the locally funded portion of the budget is rising 5.6 percent. County officials said that increase primarily reflects built-in cost increases for things like fuel, health insurance and interest on debt.Ulman used small amounts of new funding to pay for a new stormwater czar to help Howard comply with strict new federal and state standards on runoff. He also fully funded a request for $6.3 million more for county schools and gave Howard Community College a 3 percent boost in local funding to hire more full-time instructors and limit a tuition increase to $3 per credit instead of $4.
In a series of last-minute fund shifts, county police got $400,000 more to hire four new officers for community policing programs, and Recreation and Parks got $125,000 to use in gang-prevention programs for young people.