The Prince George’s County Council yesterday adopted a $3.6 billion balanced County General Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2020.
The budget includes $2.1 billion for education, fully funding the proposed spending plan submitted to the Council. Additional education funding includes $7.8 million to renovate the Largo Student Center at Prince George’s Community College, funding to expand Sunday and Friday hours at some County libraries, and funds to support bilingual outreach programs.
The spending plan also includes funding to hire and train 100 police officers, 48 fire and emergency personnel, and 60 correctional officers.
Local income and property tax rates remain unchanged.
Prince George’s County Council Chair Todd M. Turner – District 4, noted the collaboration between the Executive Branch and Legislative Branch to produce a balanced spending plan that reflects the Council’s commitment to sound and responsible fiscal management while addressing the needs of County residents.
“We appreciate the great vision, focus, and diligence of County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and her Executive Budget Team, led by Chief Administrative Officer Major Riddick, in formulating the proposed FY 2020 spending plan submitted to this Council in March – the first of her Administration. As team leader for our County, she gave the Council a great running start, and has continued to work with us throughout this Budget Process to achieve our shared priorities, especially regarding funding for education, youth initiatives, beautification, and improving public roads and safety.”
According to a press release:
Council Chair Turner thanked state lawmakers for their strong support during this year’s General Assembly session which paved the way for additional education funding.
“We appreciate the strong support of state lawmakers during this year’s Maryland General Assembly session, particularly with the enactment of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future for education funding, and the Prince George’s County Alternative Construction Financing (ACF) program, supporting a unique approach to school construction in Prince George’s County. The Board of Education budget will now see more than 90-million-dollars in Kirwan Commission and other state funding. State support for school construction may still be a few years away, however considering the urgent need, the ACF project is already underway with the support of school and County dollars. The project presents an opportunity to address aging facilities and ease overcrowding more quickly and hopefully more affordably with the help of a private partner to help finance, build, renovate, and maintain new schools.”
Council enhancements to the budget include a continuing investment in infrastructure improvements with an additional $3-million to the Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) for road resurfacing. Additional funding also supports the Housing Department in its service to residents, and implementation of the Comprehensive Housing Strategy, Housing Opportunities for All initiative. The Council added $150-thousand to the budget for Employ Prince George’s and $150-thousand to support the work of the Youth Services Bureau.
The newly-adopted spending plan also provides additional funding for Homeland Security to conduct more community outreach and emergency preparedness education; add more fire recruits; and provide additional uniforms for Volunteer Firefighters.
County Executive Alsobrooks has 10 days to review the budget. If she does not veto it, the spending plan will take effect on July 1.
In Bi-County budget action earlier this month, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties unanimously adopted the FY 20 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).
During the joint session, both councils agreed to a WSSC operating budget of $817.4 million and a capital budget of $569.7 million. The new budget includes a 5-percent rate increase for water and sewer customers. The Fiscal Year 2020 bi-county budgets are effective July 1, 2020.
Read the full press release for more information.