Anne Arundel County Council passes County Executive Steuart Pittman’s fiscal 2024 budget.
As previously reported on Conduit Street, the budget makes significant investments in education, housing, and public safety and bolsters the County’s fiscal position. Last week, County Executive Pittman submitted a supplemental budget with additional funding to raise teacher starting salaries, hire more police officers, raise library staff pay, and improve infrastructure.
“The process that led to the passage of this budget was collaborative, nonpartisan, and driven by shared values,” County Executive Steuart Pittman said. “The final product sets our County up for future economic challenges while investing in our children, our families, our environment, and the local institutions that deliver essential services. I want to thank the Council, the auditor, and my budget team for a job well done.”
The budget fully funds the Board of Education’s compensation package for Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) employees. This includes an 8 percent pay increase for all units, a $5/day raise for substitutes, a 10 percent COLA for contract bus drivers, and a $2,000 bonus for special educators. The budget also provides funding to raise starting teacher salaries to $58,161, helping AACPS with the urgent need to fill vacant positions.
“This year’s budget puts us on a path to meet our needs for our schools, our police, and our firefighters,” County Council Chair Pete Smith (District 1) said. “I’m also thankful that our residents are getting vital capital investments like the Brooklyn Park Community Center and the Severn-Harman Pedestrian Network.”
The budget adds new police, firefighter, and sheriff positions while investing in reentry work at the Ordnance Road Correctional facility. The budget funds a new Joint 9-1-1 Operations Center, new Cape St. Claire and Jessup fire stations, and a Police Special Operations Facility and Real-Time Fusion Center.
The budget creates a dedicated funding stream for the County’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund by raising the transfer and recordation tax on property transfers of more than $1 million. The adjustment is projected to provide $7.5 million in fiscal 2024 for eviction protection, affordable new construction, and buyer assistance, with Arundel Community Development Services managing the program.
“Today we made critical down payments on our schools, our Housing Trust Fund, our public safety,” Council Vice Chair Allison Pickard (District 2) said. “Our District 2 residents will see much-needed investments in CAT North, Old Mill Middle North, the Glen Burnie Library, and the North Arundel Swim Center.”
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