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Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic Prompt Revisions to FY 2021 County Budget Proposal
The coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic has thrust us all into uncertain times and unknown territory. Among the mounting impacts of this crisis is an economic challenge of historic proportion in Prince George’s County, that must be addressed in the County Council’s FY 2021 Budget Review and Adoption Process.
This will be yet another challenge that Prince Georgians will rise to meet together, motivated by the strength, determination and resiliency of our residents and communities.
The County Council will continue its work with County Executive Alsobrooks and her budget team, County residents and all stakeholders, to ensure our County’s fiscal priorities are met, and address the community’s need for critical services and resources, in the review and adoption of the FY 2021 Proposed Operating and Capital budgets for Prince George’s County, as well as the budgets for two bi-county agencies - Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
On March 11, 2020, in accordance with the County Charter, County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks transmitted her Proposed FY 2021 Operating and Capital Budgets to the Council. This week, anticipating a $134 million drop in County revenues as result of COVID-19 and applying reserve funds and outside aid, County Executive Alsobrooks submitted an amended FY 2021 Operating Budget proposal to the Council. Adjustments to the Proposed FY 2021 Capital Budget are forthcoming.
The revised budget seeks to offset severe revenue erosion; maintain core government services; manage the pandemic; implement significant spending controls; and retain the existing workforce with hiring and salary freezes. We agree however, with the County Executive, that we must closely monitor our revenue collections and overall economic trends for further threats to the County’s fiscal health.
As part of its Budget Review and Adoption Process, the Council will conduct its detailed review of the revisions to the Proposed FY 2021 County Operating Budget, sitting as the Committee of the Whole. Virtual budget sessions begin on Tuesday, April 28th, and the Council will conduct two FY 2021 Budget virtual public hearings on Monday May 4th and Monday May 11th, which provide critical public input and comment. The Council began this week with virtual public hearings on two bi-county budgets for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
All Council sessions and public hearings are accessible to the public. The County Council has established an eComment portal to provides residents with an opportunity to participate in virtual Council sessions, and important budget public hearings, while adhering to social distancing guidelines. The portal enables residents to register electronically to speak on agenda items scheduled for public hearing, or to submit a comment or letter into the official public record, in lieu of verbal testimony.
Budget meeting and public hearing schedules have been revised and may be further impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. To follow updates on the Revised FY 2021 Budget, visit the Council’s FY 21 Budget Portal.
The new Fiscal Year begins July 1, and pursuant to the County Charter, the County Council, in its role as fiscal authority, must adopt a new and balanced spending plan for Prince George’s County on or before June 1.