The $3.15 billion proposal includes $50 million specifically designated for new economic development. It also includes funds to create jobs and maintains funding for education and public safety.
“In order to move Prince George’s County along the path to greatness, we had to make difficult decisions in the FY 2012 budget process due to these challenging economic times,” said Baker. “I am committed to making smart investments that will move the County forward in FY 2012, and beyond.”
The budget includes $613 million for public schools, which is $17 more than last year but $8 million less than what the school system sought.
"I thank the county executive for his support of education funding and for making a decision which will help sustain our education reform,” Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said.
As highlighted by The Gazette, the major changes to the budget from 2011 include:
- A $50 million economic development fund to attract business to Prince George's County
- New hires include 150 police officers, 60 firefighters, 32 corrections officers, 10 sheriff's deputies and two state's attorneys.
- $14 million used to give retirement incentives to teachers. Cuts to school programs like Reading recovery, specialty school bussing and layoffs currently remain.
- County will install speed cameras on roads in hopes of getting $4 million a year in fines.
- School security will be shifted from the Office of the Sheriff to County Police.
- Long-term budget includes funding for three new police stations in Fort Washington, Brandywine, Glendale and Beltsville areas over the next five years.
- Adds staff to work in a new Bowie library opening in spring 2012.
- Employee raises are frozen for another year.
- County eliminates 154 vacant positions from payroll.
The budget also includes funding for improvements to law enforcement and public safety:
- 150 new police recruits;
- 220 new police vehicles;
- 60 new fire/EMS recruits;
- 22 new fire suppression vehicles, equipment, and ambulance units;
- 32 new correctional officers;
- The opening of two (2) new correctional housing units in October 2011;
- 10 new deputy sheriffs, and the transfer of 20 additional deputy sheriffs from the School Resource Officer (SRO) function to the warrant unit; and
- 2 additional positions in the State’s Attorney’s Office.
The budget must be approved by the Prince George’s County Council by June 1.