County Executive Steve Schuh today unveiled his budget plan designed to make Anne Arundel County the best place to live, work, and start a business in Maryland.
“This budget keeps the promise to make our County the best place to live, work, and start a business,” said Schuh. “These investments in education, public safety, and our roads will ensure our County continues its ascent to become the best jurisdiction in Maryland.”
The $1.59 billion dollar budget proposal is the fourth presented by Schuh. Highlights include:
- Investing in Education: The County Executive’s budget will directly invest $684 million in our schools, including $21.2 million for two educator step pay increases. To reduce class sizes, the proposal would add 80 educators. The County will also fund expanding the “Triple E” initiative to the Annapolis Cluster. This program provides additional electives for our elementary school population and provides planning time for teachers. Additionally, the budget funds a third early education center, which will serve South County, to ensure residents access to high quality Pre-K opportunities and programs.
- Protecting the Public: To ensure our Police Department can recruit and retain the best officers, the budget begins funding a 15% increase in compensation for police over the next two years. Under the County Executive’s plan, starting police salaries will also increase from $46,854 to $51,500. The budget adds 20 new police positions, including 10 new school resource officers.
- Investing in Roads and Relieving Congestion: The budget proposal makes targeted investments in congestion relief. Three years ago, the County increased road maintenance funding by 53 percent to $26 million annually. This was the first time the County has ever committed the funds required to stabilize the system and to prevent further deterioration. This year’s budget proposal takes the historic next step of increasing the maintenance budget to $30 million, which will allow the County to actually improve the road system in the next few years. The proposal also funds crucial chokepoint improvements at Catherine Avenue in Pasadena, Brock Bridge at MD 198 near Fort Meade, MD 214 at Loch Haven Road in Mayo, and a road widening on Mountain Road in Pasadena.
The County Executive’s budget plan will undergo a series of hearings in May and face final consideration by the County Council by June 15th.