Monday, April 20, 2009

HoCo Exec Outlines His Budget

HoCo Exec Ken Ulman released his proposed operating budget today. Here's a link to a summary. Here's how he described it in a press release:

The General Fund Budget is $820,224,970 and that number includes the $14.5 million in cuts the County received from the State of Maryland. Even after those cuts, Ulman’s budget is still a reduction of 4% from FY2009. Apart from education funding (which was increased by $2.7 million and accounts for more than half of the entire County budget), Ulman is proposing reductions in every county government department.

General Government spending is down 5.9%; Public Facilities spending is down 4.7%; Legislative and Judicial Services is down 5.4%; and Community Services spending is down 4.2%. However, Ulman has maintained level funding of $4.8 million in Community Service Partnership grants program and restructured distribution of individual grant awards to direct more funding to those agencies which address critical human service needs such as housing, food, health care, and crisis support. The Executive has also created a $40,000 Emergency Assistance supplement to provide additional support to those with the most critical needs.

Under this budget proposal, non-essential county facilities will be closed over the winter holidays (December 25-January 3), but County libraries will remain open. Non-public safety employees will be furloughed for those four business days; County department heads will be furloughed one additional day for a total of five days. Although elected officials cannot legally be furloughed, Executive Ulman has asked elected officials to join him in voluntarily participating in a five-day “furlough” by returning the equivalent of five days worth or their salaries to the County.

“The decision to layoff and furlough county employees was the most difficult one I had to make; but by furloughing, we dramatically reduced the number of layoffs we had to make,” said Ulman.

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