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.