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Press Releases - County Council

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 19, 2022

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 19, 2022—Montgomery County Council Vice President Evan Glass made the following statement about the Fiscal Year 2023 Operating Budget and the Fiscal Year 2023-2028 Capital Improvements Program. The Council’s final vote on the capital and operating budgets for Montgomery County is scheduled for May 26.

“Thank you Council President for leading us through this budget. I also appreciate my colleagues and residents for their collaboration and engagement. 

“Determining the county’s $6.3 billion operating budget has been an exercise in fiscal discipline. With the support of our federal and state partners, we’ve created a fiscal document that reflects the needs of our residents today and into the future, while also maintaining our current tax rate.  

“This is a budget that truly benefits all of our residents.  

“This budget includes a record-level of education funding – including nearly $3 billion for Montgomery County Public Schools and more than $300 million for Montgomery College – recognizing that our youth are our future. 

“This investment is a signal to students and parents that education is a child’s path to success, and it also sets us on a trajectory to enact the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future in the coming years.  

“We also want our youth to succeed once they leave the classroom. That is why I was proud to lead the expansion of MCPD’s Cadet Program, which gives local college students the opportunity to serve their community by providing firsthand experience within the police force.  

“The Cadet Program reflects the diversity of Montgomery County, which is home to four of the ten most diverse areas in the nation. Of the 15 participants in 2020, five were Latino, four cadets were Black and two were Asian American – a nearly 75 percent diversity rate.  

“This cadet class was a compliment to MCPD as a whole, which is approximately 75 percent white, and has proven to be an effective recruitment tool in providing a more diverse pool of candidates than traditional recruitment efforts.   

“I believe the expansion of this program will help meet our public safety goals – and will help prepare the next generation to serve the community they grew up in. As we work to make all residents feel safe, this program is the true definition of community policing.

“The word ‘community’ is actually my favorite word. And it has been my focus throughout this budget: ensuring the health and safety of our community and ensuring that we support growing families and provide direct assistance to assist them.   

“We’ve all heard from residents concerned about the nationwide shortage of baby formula and the increased costs of diapers due to inflation. I’m proud to support the D.C. Diaper Bank by allocating additional funding to help low-income families get the food, diapers and baby supplies that they desperately need. This initiative reflects the lessons learned from the pandemic and one that we cannot forget as we enter the new normal.    

“The pandemic exposed the inequities that many of us knew existed. I’m proud that we funded the expansion of the African American Health Program, the Latino Health Initiative and the Asian American Health Initiative.  

“From expanding healthcare access at barber shops to facilitating neighborhood vaccinations, these health initiatives are the anchors in our most vulnerable communities and among the most important government programs we have.    

“My priority throughout this budget process has been to ensure that the most vulnerable are safe, healthy and housed.

“As the Council’s lead on Homelessness and Vulnerable Communities, I joined my colleagues on the HHS Committee to support the Services to End and Prevent Homelessness and redouble our commitment to working with the nonprofit and social service provider community during this time of rising costs and financial uncertainty for so many residents.  

“This budget reflects the County's commitment to making the experience of homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring. It also makes a commitment to increase housing stability for individuals experiencing homeless or at-risk households, by allocating an additional $3 million for the Rental Assistance Program, which will provide 800 permanent shallow housing subsidies.  

“One of my top priorities during this budget cycle was to build off the success of the Kids Ride Free program by extending free Ride On access to everyone. Due to fiscal constraints, we were not able to make buses completely free, but we were able to lower fares to $1, half the cost of the pre-pandemic level of $2. While $1 is not free, it does make progress and move us closer to achieving transit equity. Public transportation is a public good, and I plan to continue the effort to make buses free in the years ahead.   

“As we work to improve our transportation networks, we also have to work to improve road safety. The capital improvement budget contains more than $400 million to advance our pedestrian, bike and road improvements – moving us closer to achieving our Vision Zero goals. This investment is so critically important. Since January 1 of this year, 175 pedestrians and bicyclists have been hit on our roads, and six people have been killed. It’s a tragedy. It’s preventable. And this funding will make our roads safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers – and everyone.  

“Finally, as a former nonprofit executive, I know all too well the increasing needs and demands on our nonprofit sector. The eight percent cost of living increase we are providing to our nonprofit contracts is long overdue and necessary.  

“Nonprofits are facing staffing shortages in some of our most important social service areas, including in our shelters. I’m hopeful that this increase will help our partners fill these service gaps. 

“In summary, this budget does a lot of good. But there is still a lot of work ahead of us to make Montgomery County a more fair and equitable place. That conversation will continue, but for now, I believe that this budget moves us in that direction, is fiscally sustainable and puts vulnerable communities first. We should all be proud. 

“Thank you.”

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Release ID: 22-210
Media Contact: Valeria Carranza 240-777-7966, Genevieve Kurtz 240-777-7805