Montgomery Council to Consider Resolution to Limit Non-Essential Spending Amid Coronavirus Epidemic

Councilmember Navarro to introduce Council resolution calling for immediate spending restraint on operating budget items not associated with COVID-19 emergency response or economic recovery efforts.

‪Montgomery County Council Member Nancy Navarro, who chairs the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, tomorrow will introduce a resolution calling for the Council to exercise immediate spending restraint for operating budget items unrelated to the public health and safety needs associated with the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic or the economic recovery efforts associated with the pandemic that has severely impacted the lives of County residents and businesses.

“This is no time for business as usual,” said Council Member Navarro. “Our operating budget must be sensitive to our needs, sustainable in the long-term, and responsive to the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic we are facing today. While we have no idea what our new normal will look like at this point, we know that county resources must be laser-focused on the health and welfare of our residents and our economic recovery efforts.”

The Council is scheduled to vote on the resolution following its introduction. Council Members Andrew Friedson, Gabe Albornoz, Craig Rice, and Hans Riemer are cosponsoring Council Member Navarro’s resolution.

According to a press release:

The budget resolution calls for Council staff to prepare budget options for funding that would maintain the same level of service for Montgomery County departments as approved by the Council for fiscal year 2020. It also recommends maintenance of effort funding levels for Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College. Finally, the resolution provides flexibility to the Council to reevaluate resources and spending after the COVID-19 pandemic concludes.

“Considering this unprecedented global pandemic and the national state of emergency, I believe it’s essential for the Council to move expeditiously to provide continuity of government operations and approve an operating budget for Montgomery County residents that provides additional flexibility for recovery efforts,” said Council Member Navarro. “Our discipline in building the county’s fiscal reserves will serve us well in the short-term as we provide assistance to our community members but we must also make the right decisions now to ensure our collective fiscal future.”

The text of Council Member Navarro’s resolution will be posted here by March 24.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

Useful Links

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: MACo Compiles List of Local Resources During COVID-19 Response

For up-to-date information and state resources regarding coronavirus, including confirmed case counts and clinician guidance, visit http://health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

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