Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski submitted a $4.9 billion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024 that provides historic funding for public education, creates near-universal community college for county residents, and provides record investment in government employees — among other key priorities that will move Baltimore County forward.
“This budget strengthens our new standards of excellence—investing in our people, our communities and our shared future—and will continue to push Baltimore County toward its highest potential,” 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.”
In today’s address to the County Council, Olszewski highlighted record investments in education and support for key priorities that will move Baltimore County forward. The total proposed Operating Budget is $4.9 billion.
Below are highlights of the FY24 budget that County Executive Olszewski submitted to the Baltimore County Council.
Investing in K-12 Education
Provides a $71 million increase above the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) for Baltimore County Public Schools — the single largest increase in County history.
Provides nearly $210 million in capital funding for school construction projects, including millions to support new or like-new buildings for Lansdowne High School, Towson High School, and Dulaney High School.
Provides full funding for step increases and a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for BCPS staff.
Investing in Higher Education
Expands the Community College of Baltimore County’s (CCBC) College Promise Program to provide near-universal, free community college to any Baltimore County household making less than $150,000 a year for residents seeking a full-time degree, part-time degree, or workforce certification program.
Freezes in-County tuition at CCBC for all residents for sixth year in a row.
Investing in County Employees
Provides a 4 percent Cost-Of-Living Adjustment or equivalent increase — the highest year-over-year increase in County employee pay in at least 3 decades — in addition to full funding of steps and increments for employees.
Creates a $500,000 student loan relief fund for employees.
Contributes $119 million to OPEB — a nearly 25 percent year-over-year increase — to the fund that provides health and life insurance benefits for retired County employees.
Retains a 20 percent fund balance-critical for maintaining the County’s bond ratings.
Investing in Safer Communities
Provides historic pay increases for our law enforcement professionals, including our police officers, 911 personnel, correctional officers, and sheriff’s deputies.
Provides over $9 million towards a new Catonsville Fire Station and $9 million towards a new Sparrows Point Fire Station and training facility.
Provides more than $4 million towards the planning and design of a new Essex Police Precinct.
Investing in our Infrastructure
Provides $30 million towards major Baltimore County Public Library projects at the Essex, Lansdowne, Randallstown and Woodlawn branches.
Allocates nearly $40 million dollars to continue road resurfacing projects and sidewalk improvements across Baltimore County.
Provides another $5 million in County funding — matching $5 million in new State funding — to support continued redevelopment at Security Square Mall.
Provides another $3 million — matching $3 million in new State funding — to support the revitalization of the Pikesville Armory.
Provides millions for senior center projects across Baltimore County, including funding to finish the expansion and renovation at the Woodlawn Senior Center and towards the new Jacksonville Senior Center and North County Senior Centers.
Investing in Vibrant, Livable Neighborhoods
Permanently eliminates the fees for CountyRide transportation service
Funding to bolster Baltimore County’s immigrant affairs outreach.
Funding to support a Working Group on Resource Coordination to Support Victims of Sexual Exploitation, Violence, and Domestic Abuse.
Investing in Sustainable Communities
Provides more than $63 million in funding for parks and open space, including:
$5 million to renovate, replace, and construct modern athletic fields across Baltimore County, including funding for Baltimore County’s first-ever cricket field at Cloverland Park.
$2 million for Cromwell Valley Park
$2 million for the County’s first water splash pad at Northwest Regional Park
$1.7 million for the Marshy Point Nature Center
$1.5 million for Rosedale Park
$1.5 million to re-envision the former Pahl’s Farm property
$1.2 million to plan the future development of sites like Fort Howard Park and Gerst Road Park.
The County Council is scheduled to vote on the proposed FY24 budget on May 25, 2023.