New Council Budget Highlights

The council’s budget this year was a great step forward.  Within a framework of fiscal prudence — county spending did not increase faster than county resident’s average personal income — we increased our funding for education, environmental protection, libraries, parks, public safety, human services and other key areas, and we also provided an additional modest reduction in the energy tax.

Every Councilmember gets the chance to make his or her own mark on the budget. I certainly made mine this year. Here are some of the ways in which I worked with my colleagues to make a difference:

  1. Caring for our county trees: The council provided an increase of nearly $1 million for planting county trees, caring for them and grinding stumps.
  2. Reducing traffic: We also secured $250,000 for optimizing traffic signals so that we can fight congestion with smarter solutions.
  3. Boosting our EITC: After the County Executive recommended an additional $1.8 million to raise the county’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the council boosted that program by another $1 million.  This raised our EITC overall by 10%.
  4. Child care: The council added funding for a new effort by the county to support child care providers with business consulting services.  We also provided an extra $338,670 in assistance to working poor parents to pay for child care.
  5. Bike lanes: The council added $250,000 to our Department of Transportation’s budget to work with our bike advocacy groups to stripe new bike lanes in order to ensure that our new bike sharing program, which is coming very soon, will succeed.

I hope you are enjoying your summer. As always, please remember that if you need a county service or have a request for information about county services, just call 311 from any phone in the county or search the website from your desktop or mobile phone. And of course email me for assistance.