Prince George’s Council delays final budget decisions until May 30, chairman says

The Prince George’s County Council is delaying a final vote on the county’s budget for a week.

County Council Chairman Andrea C. Harrison(D-Springdale) said that the council was still trying to sort out funding for several items, including a new, $27 million police department headquarters, and also trying to figure out a way to avoid employee furloughs. County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) had recommended up to five days of furloughs for most of the county’s 6,000 employees to help balance the budget.

The budget vote on the $2.7 billion spending package, about half of that for schools, tentatively had been set for Thursday. It is now set for May 30, a week later.

“We want to keep county employees as whole as possible,” Harrison said. “Our employees have really taken a hit.” She said council members had not yet determined how they would come up with the approximately $7 million she said is needed to avoid the unpaid days off, which are expected to affect police, firefighters and the civilian workforce. Baker, who criticized his predecessor, Jack B. Johnson (D), for using furloughs to balance the budget, pledged when he took office that he would avoid furloughs if at all possible, and he held to that for this first two years in office.

Miranda Spivack writes about government and politics in the suburbs, based in the Post’s bureau in Largo in Prince George’s County.
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