Baltimore City Passes Budget After Compromise on Youth Program Funding

After much public discussion and back and forth between the mayor and city council regarding funding of youth programs, the Baltimore City Council unanimously passed Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s operating budget of $2.6 billion.

According to The Baltimore Sun article, the budget

…cuts property taxes and shrinks the government to its smallest size in decades.

The budget deal, which passed 12-0, came after the council and mayor fought for weeks over $4.2 million that Rawlings-Blake did not initially include for youth programs.

The mayor agreed last week to add the $4.2 million, which will pay for after-school and community school programming for about 2,500 students. To free the money, she said she needed to cut funding elsewhere — including $100,000 for library materials.

Another Baltimore Sun article gives more details about the passed budget.

The deal would free money by spreading $4.2 million in cuts across city agencies. It calls for the elimination of about a dozen vacant or new positions, a $100,000 reduction in an anti-litter campaign, and would cut spending for street and alley cleaning and graffiti removal.

Also to be cut is $1 million in merit-based raises for city managers, $100,000 for library materials, and $170,000 for bridge repairs and preventive maintenance.

Discretionary grants provided to community groups for programs such as homeownership counseling, health services and financial literacy would be reduced by $500,000.

For more details about the City’s budget, visit Baltimore City online.

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