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Olszewski releases $4.9 billion FY 2024 budget for Baltimore County [VIDEO]

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UPDATE 2: The Baltimore County Council has approved the FY2024 budget.

UPDATE: Baltimore County Board of Education Chair Jane Lichter and Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams have released in response to the proposed budget.

Original story below…


TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Thursday submitted a $4.9 billion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024 that provides record funding for public education, creates near-universal community college for county residents, and provides record investment in government employees.

“This budget strengthens our new standards of excellence—investing in our people, our communities and our shared future—and will continue to push Baltimore County toward its highest potential,” Olszewski said. “Together we will continue to build on the historic progress we have already made, address longstanding disparities in our communities, and raise the bar even higher in the years ahead.”

BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS

In Thursday’s address to the Baltimore County Council, Olszewski highlighted record investments in education and support for key priorities. The total proposed Operating Budget is $4.9 billion.

Below are highlights of the FY24 budget that County Executive Olszewski submitted to the Baltimore County Council.

Investing in K-12 Education

  • Provides a $71 million increase above the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) for Baltimore County Public Schools — the single largest increase in County history.
  • Provides nearly $210 million in capital funding for school construction projects, including millions to support new or like-new buildings for Lansdowne High School, Towson High School, and Dulaney High School.
  • Provides full funding for step increases and a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for BCPS staff.
Investing in Higher Education
  • Expands the Community College of Baltimore County’s (CCBC) College Promise Program to provide near-universal, free community college to any Baltimore County household making less than $150,000 a year for residents seeking a full-time degree, part-time degree, or workforce certification program.
  • Freezes in-County tuition at CCBC for all residents for sixth year in a row.
Investing in County Employees
  • Provides a 4 percent Cost-Of-Living Adjustment or equivalent increase — the highest year-over-year increase in County employee pay in at least 3 decades — in addition to full funding of steps and increments for employees.
  • Creates a $500,000 student loan relief fund for employees.
  • Contributes $119 million to OPEB — a nearly 25 percent year-over-year increase — to the fund that provides health and life insurance benefits for retired County employees.
  • Retains a 20 percent fund balance-critical for maintaining the County’s bond ratings.
Investing in Safer Communities
  • Provides historic pay increases for our law enforcement professionals, including our police officers, 911 personnel, correctional officers, and sheriff’s deputies.
  • Provides over $9 million towards a new Catonsville Fire Station and $9 million towards a new Sparrows Point Fire Station and training facility.
  • Provides more than $4 million towards the planning and design of a new Essex Police Precinct.
Investing in Infrastructure
  • Provides $30 million towards major Baltimore County Public Library projects at the Essex, Lansdowne, Randallstown. and Woodlawn branches.
  • Allocates nearly $40 million dollars to continue road resurfacing projects and sidewalk improvements across Baltimore County.
  • Provides another $5 million in County funding — matching $5 million in new State funding — to support continued redevelopment at Security Square Mall.
  • Provides another $3 million — matching $3 million in new State funding — to support the revitalization of the Pikesville Armory.
  • Provides millions for senior center projects across Baltimore County, including funding to finish the expansion and renovation at the Woodlawn Senior Center and towards the new Jacksonville Senior Center and North County Senior Centers.
Investing in Livable Neighborhoods  
  • Permanently eliminates the fees for CountyRide transportation service
  • Funding to bolster Baltimore County’s immigrant affairs outreach.
  • Funding to support a Working Group on Resource Coordination to Support Victims of Sexual Exploitation, Violence, and Domestic Abuse.
Investing in Sustainable Communities
  • Provides more than $63 million in funding for parks and open space, including:
  • $5 million to renovate, replace, and construct modern athletic fields across Baltimore County, including funding for Baltimore County’s first-ever cricket field at Cloverland Park.
  • $2 million for Cromwell Valley Park
  • $2 million for the County’s first water splash pad at Northwest Regional Park
  • $1.7 million for the Marshy Point Nature Center
  • $1.5 million for Rosedale Park
  • $1.5 million to re-envision the former Pahl’s Farm property
  • $1.2 million to plan the future development of sites like Fort Howard Park and Gerst Road Park.

The County Council is scheduled to vote on the proposed FY24 budget on May 25, 2023.

More in the video below.

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