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Press Releases - County Council

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 18, 2023

Montgomery County Council President Evan Glass made the following statement about the Fiscal Year 2024 Operating Budget and the Amended 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 25.

Below is Council President Glass' full statement:

When I was first elected to serve as president, I promised to work collectively with this elected body – and to bring greater transparency. 

As an at-large councilmember, it has been my mission to uplift the needs of residents from every corner of our community. I believe we must build on our accomplishments to make Montgomery County a more fair and equitable place, where everyone can afford to work, live, raise a family, get the best education and age in place.

We must meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents and meet the demands of tomorrow’s workforce. This will keep Montgomery County moving forward.

Determining the County’s $6.7 billion Fiscal Year 2024 operating budget is an act of fiscal discipline and a reflection of our moral values.

This budget is unlike any this County has ever had. This is the first time in the County’s history that a state law is being used to increase the property tax for Montgomery County Public Schools. 

Before we entertained the idea of a tax increase, we immediately began looking for savings. I set forth a process similar to zero based budgeting, in which we built the budget based on the needs and the resources available. I tasked the committees with conducting oversight, finding savings, and restructuring vacant positions. Five years ago the County Executive said he wanted to restructure County government so that our resources can be better used to support the needs of our residents. I told the County Executive that I supported those goals and would work with him. And during my five years on this Council, I waited. But with this budget - we are no longer waiting. The restructuring has begun. 

The County Executive introduced a budget with a 10 percent property tax increase. Through this Council’s hard work, we were able to reduce the County Executive’s tax proposal by more than half – while still adding more than $210 million to the school system. 

This is the largest increase to MCPS since before the great recession.

More than half of the County’s tax-supported budget, a little over $3 billion, will go toward supporting our school system. Like districts across the nation, the needs of the 163,000 students in Maryland’s largest school system have dramatically increased since the pandemic. Additionally, the expectations for administrators and educators to solve all these new challenges without adequate support is daunting.

During our discussions with MCPS leadership, every member of this Council, let me repeat – every member of this Council –  expressed our intention to fully fund the contracts for our hard working teachers, paraeducators, bus operators and administrators. In addition, we recently approved a progressive recordation tax that will add $200 million to accelerate vital school construction. These actions speak volumes about the Council's dedication to our schools, educators and students.

In addition to supporting our school employees, we unanimously supported the contracts for our hard working emergency and first responders, healthcare workers and all County employees. 

Each of the department and agency budgets, including all the labor contracts, were supported unanimously. Unanimously. And in order to uphold our intentions, the actions we’ve taken today were necessary. Stated another way: it would be intellectually dishonest to support everything in this budget without also supporting the revenue increases needed to pay for them.

The budget that we will preliminarily agree on today was shaped by everyone on this Council and especially our residents, who made their voices heard on issues important to them. We had historic levels of public participation and historic levels of transparency. I want to thank every resident who testified, wrote or called us with their thoughts.

The FY24 budget continues Montgomery County’s ongoing investments in education, expands health services, provides resources to expand affordable housing, increases rental assistance and supports innovative ways to boost economic development.

This budget upholds our commitment to investing in key priority areas.

Health and Housing

A priority throughout my presidency has been to ensure that our most vulnerable residents are safe, healthy and housed. As the Council’s former lead on Homelessness and Vulnerable Communities, I’m proud of the investment in our safety net programs, including increased funding for food security, shelters and funding for more affordable housing and supportive services to low and moderate income families.  

Economic Development

The Council’s newly formed Economic Development Committee has been sharply focused on ensuring that Montgomery County is open for business by putting real investments into action.

Tens of millions in this year’s budget will directly help bolster our local economy and will help accelerate business development across the County.


As we work to increase the supply of affordable housing near transit and encourage more residents to walk, ride or take public transit to and from their homes, we need to ensure our roadways are safe for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. In 2023, we’ve had over 200 pedestrians and bicyclists struck and killed by motorists while another four have been tragically killed. 

This budget dedicates $270 million toward improving our transportation networks, including funding toward Vision Zero and road safety improvements. This will help make our roads safer for everyone, because no one should have to live with the pain of losing a loved one on our roadways. 


The steps we take in the coming years to combat the changing climates will be critical to the health and vitality of Montgomery County’s future. We need to continue investing in green technology if we want to reduce 80 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions by 2027 and eliminate them completely by 2035.                                             

That’s why this budget increases investments to build a more resilient economy by adding funding to help County homeowners, businesses and property owners make affordable energy efficiency and clean energy investments to their properties.

The budget also helps us maintain and expand our food waste reduction efforts, supports DEP’s goal to manage our waste more sustainably, and allows us to continue implementing the climate action plan. I am proud of our investments to secure a greener future for all Montgomery County residents.  

Public Safety

We’re continuing to invest in efforts to strengthen public safety and ensure that everyone feels welcome, seen and safe in Montgomery County. This budget provides support for our Fire and Safety Service, including some long delayed construction improvements. 

In addition to funding our public safety departments, we increased nonprofit security grants for faith-based organizations that are at high-risk of hate crimes. 

With the increasing rise in hate and violent rhetoric, we are redoubling our efforts to ensure that hate has no home in Montgomery County.   

Commitment to Racial Equity and Social Justice

I’m also proud that we’re continuing to put real dollars behind our commitment to advancing racial equity and social justice. We increased funding for the Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice and are continuing our support for the outstanding work of our Minority Health Initiatives, Black Physicians Network and other programs.


Putting together a budget of this magnitude and complexity is always challenging, but this budget in particular took a higher level of scrutiny and discipline than any previous year that I can recall.

It takes an all hands on deck approach and is a true collaborative process. 

I want to thank each of my colleagues on the County Council, and in particular commend all our new members, who each dove into their first budget with new and unique perspectives and a shared commitment to transparency and detailed decision making. 

I’m grateful to my team  - David Lorenzo-Botello, Joy Champaloux, Hope Klein, Pam Luckett and Dorie Hightower. I would especially like to thank my Chief of Staff, Valeria Carranza, who has helped shepherd this herculean effort. Thank you for your leadership and dedication to this work. Without exception, you have gone above and beyond in service to the residents  of Montgomery County.

And let me thank all of our staff for their hard work and collaboration including Executive Director Marlene Michaelson, Deputy Director Craig Howard, outgoing Clerk of the Council Judy Rupp, our new Clerk Sara Tenenbaum, Racial Equity Manager Selena Singleton, Legislative Information Officer Sonya Healy and the public information team, Director of the Office of Legislative Oversight Chris Cihlar, our information technology team and, of course, our analysts and central staff whose remarkable contributions make this budget come together.

While this process has come with difficult decisions. I’m proud of the work that this institution has done collectively to balance priorities and set Montgomery County on a strong path forward.

Thank you.

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Release ID: 23-182
Media Contact: Valeria Carranza 240-777-7966
Categories: Evan Glass