Friday, May 8, 2009

Budget Timeframe Coming to a Close

We’re heading into the home stretch on our budget deliberations. As you can see from the Committee Budget Packets (links to the right), Council committees have considered a mountain of information, and now the full Council is looking at the committees’ recommendations. In accordance with our normal practice, we plan to take a straw vote on Thursday which will signal our intent for final action on the following Thursday, May 21.

Some big questions remain to be answered between now and then. Biggest among those questions is whether the State of Maryland will grant us a waiver on the educational funding requirement under the State’s Maintenance of Effort law. It is our hope that because of the County’s longstanding commitment to education and its history of making investments well above the required amounts, we are in good standing to receive the waiver, either totally or in part.

Although the State is not required to issue its decision until May 15, we’ve asked to get the decision early. If we do not receive the waiver, then we would be required by law to provide more funding to the public school system. The money necessarily would come from other parts of the government.

If you are interested in the budget, now is the time to pay close attention. Things can change quickly during what we hope is our last week of budget discussions. I will continue to post the budget packets to the right so you can follow along. And of course, it is not too late to let me know what you think.

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