LARGO, Md. (DC News Now) — On Thursday, the Prince George’s county council approved a $4.5 billion dollar budget with the majority of the budget going towards education and public safety.
This comes after the county executive announced a shortfall of $60 million dollars due to the projected income tax revenue.
“Even though we faced a number of challenges this year, I’m proud that we came together to pass a budget that contains people-centered investments that will uplift all Prince Georgians,” said Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks.
Despite the challenge, the county was still able to make people center investments like increasing funding for rental assistance, expanding library hours, and funding for disability training for public safety officials.
A camera incentive program for residents, also known as the Jayz Agnew Law was also funded. It will allow businesses and homeowners to purchase and install cameras to support law enforcement to help solve crime. This comes after the 13-year-old Jayz Agnew was shot and killed in front of his home in Temple Hills and many neighbors did not have cameras to help police solve the ongoing investigation.
Shephard’s Cove Emergency Shelter will also receive an additional $75,000 to continue its work in helping keep women and children off the streets.
During Thursday’s meeting, a last-minute amendment was also made to reallocate $250,000 to the county’s State’s Attorney’s Emerging Adults program that offers opportunities to those incarcerated to keep them from reoffending when they are released. Some council members voted against the amendment claiming they were not aware of it in a timely matter, but the majority of the council voted in favor of the last-minute change.
Many county council members support the budget but they say they’re not happy because many anticipated programs were not approved like the “Guaranteed Basic Income” program that provides low-income families with a monthly stipend, and the healthy food restaurants program.
Here’s a breakdown of the budget:
Education & Youth Development
- Board of Education – $2.8 billion
- Increase of $170 million, or 6.5%, over FY 2023
- Includes $24.5 million for the Alternative Construction Finance program
- Prince George’s Community College – $131.6 million
- Prince George’s County Memorial Library System – $38.1 million
- Youth development programs like Summer Youth Enrichment Program (SYEP) and Alsobrooks Summer Passport Experience – $2.5 million
- SYEP has hired over 17,000 youth over the past four years
- Summer Passport provided opportunities for over 1,600 youth over the past two years
- Prince George’s County Police Department – $390 million
- Includes four new recruit classes for a total of 120 officers
- Continued funding for recruitment incentives for new officers
- Funding for Police Explorers Program to expose young people to careers in law enforcement
- Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department – $261 million
- Includes three new recruit classes for a total of 96 firefighters
- Prince George’s County Department of Corrections – $106.7 million
- Includes two new recruit classes for a total of 36 new correctional officers
- State’s Attorney’s Office – $25.3 million
- Includes funding for six new Assistant State’s Attorney positions
- Vision Zero Prince George’s – $41 million
- Supports outreach and various road safety improvements/projects
- Hope in Action Anti-Violence Initiative – $1 million
- Over 29,000 residents have been served with wraparound services such as afterschool programming, mental health services, workforce development, and housing support
- Includes continued funding for violence interrupters
- Stormwater Management Fund – $113.2 million
- Increase of $16 million over FY 2023
- Programs help combat climate change and mitigate flooding
- Stormwater Management Capital Improvement Program – $141.1 million
- Funds multiple flood protection projects
- Clear the Curb – $135.5 million
- Includes continued rollout of countywide curbside composting program, reaching all households with County trash and recycling by the end of 2023
- Includes improved curbside bulky trash program
- Watershed Protection and Restoration Fund – $20.7 million
- 13 new hires in the Department of the Environment – $1.2 million
- Includes new positions in Animal Services Division
- Litter reduction/beautification programs – $9.9 million
- Includes enhanced street sweeping and litter removal services in the Department of Public Works & Transportation
Economic Development & Affordable Housing
- Economic development agencies funding – $10.8 million
- Preserving and creating affordable housing – $45.25 million
- Emergency Rental Assistance Program – $14.5 million
- Expands eligibility of current program funding
- Procurement and assistance programs for businesses – $17.8 million
- Increases procurement opportunities and assistance programs across multiple agencies for local, small, and minority-owned businesses
Health & Human Services
- Health Department – $35.3 million
- Includes 3 new positions
- Supports behavioral health programs for residents
- Office of Veterans Affairs – $548,700
- Increased funding from FY 2023 to better serve County veterans
- Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement – $30.8 million
- Funds all vacant positions and IT initiatives to improve permitting services
- Funding to hire after-hours inspectors
- Office of Human Rights – $3 million
- Supports continued implementation of language access program for public services
- Office of Information Technology – $58.1 million
- Includes funding for increased cybersecurity protections