Thursday, May 22, 2014

Council Approves Budget

Today we took our final vote on the FY15 budget. Overall, this is a good budget that maintains fiscal responsibility while restoring some of the cuts we had to make during the recession, particularly in the areas that serve our most vulnerable.

The really good news is that we were able to provide Montgomery County Public Schools with all the resources it requested. We achieved this through a collaborative effort with the County Executive, the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools. We also increased funding for Montgomery College to provide for additional staffing and programming, especially in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and biomedical fields.

I’m very pleased that we made economic development and job creation a high priority in this budget. We fully funded the Montgomery Business Development Corporation so that it can continue to provide us with an invaluable business perspective on expanding our economy. We also added new positions in the Department of Economic Development that will allow the department to enhance its programs. With these decisions, we are investing in long-term job growth. Only through job creation will our residents, and our county as a whole, be able to achieve the future we envision.

Also with an eye to helping families and businesses thrive, we decreased the proposed energy tax. While I wish we could eliminate the energy tax increase from FY11 entirely, I’m glad we at least were able to reduce it by seven percent. Times remain tough for many of our residents and businesses, so any relief we can provide will help.

One other highlight--this budget increases spending for roadway and tree maintenance, which I know will make a lot of people happy as these programs really needed the boost.

Thanks to our Council President, Craig Rice, for his steady leadership throughout the budget process. There were a lot of moving parts this year, and he did a great job managing it all. Learn more.

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