Pr. George's chief set to unveil budget proposal
Monday, March 15, 2010; 9:47 AM
Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) is scheduled Monday to unveil his proposed budget for the coming fiscal year, a budget that will attempt to navigate declining revenue, massive potential cuts in state aid, the demands of employee unions and the unforeseen cost of the December and February snowstorms.
The amount of cash in the county's general fund is projected to decline by $37.8 million, or 1.5 percent, in fiscal 2011, according to recently released county figures. The county is also facing about $44 million in proposed cuts from the state -- cuts Johnson has said he hopes to persuade Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) to abandon, at least partially, before the state budget is approved.
Despite the financial setbacks, Johnson said at a recent public forum that he hopes to reduce furloughs and fund education as much as possible. For the past two years, the county has furloughed all its employees for 10 days, a move that has been met with heavy backlash -- as well as a lawsuit -- from employee unions.
Johnson has not said what programs or departments, if any, will face cuts or how severe they will be.
School officials in the county recently approved a $1.66 billion budget that called for deep cuts, including the elimination of 800 positions.
Johnson's proposal still faces a vote by the County Council before taking effect July 1.