2024 Budget Proposal Includes "Historic" Funding For Education, Pay Increases For Law Enforcement

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Credit: Baltimore County Government/ Youtube

BALTIMORE COUNTY - On Thursday, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski unveiled his fiscal year 2024 budget proposal.

The proposed budget, totaling $4.9 billion, includes historic funding for education, pay increases for law enforcement and would permanently eliminate fees for the CountyRide transportation service.

"This budget strengthens our new standards of excellence," 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."

The Baltimore County Council is scheduled to vote on the budget proposal next month.

Here is a breakdown of the budget's key inclusions, sorted by category:

Education

  • Nearly $210 million in capital funding for school construction projects, including millions for new buildings for Lansdowne, Towson, and Dulaney high schools.
  • $71 million over required Maintenance of Effort funding for schools. According to the proposed budget, this is the most significant MOE increase in Baltimore County's history.
  • BCPS teachers would have a starting salary of $59,000 per year.
  • Funding for 41 new Pre-K para-educators, 22 full-day Pre-K positions, and an additional 36 ESOL teachers.
  • Expands CCBC's Promise Program, providing near-universal, free community college to any Baltimore County household earning less than $150,000 a year.
  • Freezes in-county tuition at CCBC for all residents.

County Employees

  • All County Employees would receive a 4% cost-of-living adjustment or equivalent increase.
  • Establishes a $500,000 student loan relief fund for employees.
  • $119 million added to other post-employment benefits (benefits other than pensions).
  • Would maintain a 20% fund balance (necessary for keeping the county's AAA bond rating.)

Police, EMS, and Fire

  • A "historic" pay increase for law enforcement professionals, including our police officers, 911 personnel, correctional officers, and sheriff's deputies.
  • $9 million for the construction of a new Catonsville Fire Station.
  • $9 million for a new Sparrows Point Fire Station and training facility.
  • $4 million toward the planning and design of a new Essex Police Precinct.

Infrastructure and Revitalization

  • $30 million toward significant Baltimore County Public Library projects in Essex, Lansdowne, Randallstown, and Woodlawn.
  • $40 million to continue road resurfacing projects and sidewalk improvements across the county.
  • $5 million in county funding (matching $5 million in state funding) for the continued redevelopment of Security Square Mall.
  • $3 million (matching $3 million in state funding) for revitalizing the Pikesville Armory.
  • "Millions" in funding to complete the expansion and renovation of Woodlawn Senior Center and to construct the new Jacksonville Senior Center and North County Senior Centers.
  • The budget would Permanently eliminate the fees for CountyRide transportation services.

Parks and Open Spaces:

  • $63 million in total funding for parks and open spaces.
  • $5 million to renovate, replace and construct modern athletic fields across Baltimore County.
  • $2 million for improvements at Cromwell Valley Park.
  • $2 million for the county's first "water splash pad" at Northwest Regional Park.
  • $1.7 million for improvements at the Marshy Point Nature Center.
  • $1.5 million for improvements at Rosedale Park.
  • $1.2 million to plan the future development of sites, including Fort Howard and Gerst Road parks.
  • $1.5 million to plan the future development of the former Pahl's Farm property.
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Johnny Clueless… “our new standards of excellence”, like the shooting near the Olive Garden, graffiti everywhere, crime everywhere. He should resign immediately and apologize for his poor management skills. He absolutely loves spending our money. He’s a disaster.

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