The Council Connection — budget, immigration, and STEM
Council President’s Message
On Tuesday, with a briefing from Council staff, the Council will discuss the overall fiscal situation for the budget. Despite the generally positive economic environment, tax revenues have been very volatile and caution is called for. The Council’s budget will reflect difficult trade-offs as we try to resolve competing community priorities.
On Tuesday, the Council will introduce a special appropriation to fund a contract with the Capital Area Immigrants Rights Coalition to provide legal representation for County residents who have been detained for deportation proceedings and cannot otherwise afford an attorney, excluding residents with serious criminal convictions. Where prior Administrations focused immigration enforcement efforts on those with serious criminal convictions and others whom pose a threat to the community, this Administration is being indiscriminate in rounding up residents regardless of the lives they have built here or the value they add to the community. Across the Country we have heard stories of residents being put in detention and deported who own houses, have businesses and have employees who rely on them, and leave families behind, including children who in many cases are US Citizens. This is our County’s attempt to ensure that all residents have the opportunity to protect their rights and ensure they are aware and able to assert any options that they have under the law.
I am also very pleased to share that the County Executive has proposed a capital budget adjustment to purchase a building in Twinbrook that will serve as a new home for the KID Museum. This project, a joint effort between Montgomery County and the City of Rockville, will allow KID Museum to serve hundreds of thousands of students, providing innovative STEM and 21st Century Skills learning opportunities. The Council will review this proposal as we finalize our Capital Improvements Program for the coming six years.
Finally, Council committees will spend the week reviewing the FY19 operating budget. Specifically, committees will review operating budgets for parks, fire and rescue, the housing opportunities commission, recreation, transportation, early childhood services, 311, Montgomery College, libraries, and much more. While the full Council has the ultimate authority to approve, reject, or amend any budgetary item, the Council begins with the recommendations of committees. Take a look at the committee agenda for the full list of meetings and topics. You can also stream live or demand any committee session here.
Finally, new legislation will be introduced that creates a green jobs apprenticeship program. Find the full Council agenda here.
- The Council welcomed hundreds of residents to five public hearings on the County’s operating budget. Residents from all over the County came out to express their budget priorities to the Council – issues like fully funding education, increasing affordable housing, maintaining our excellent libraries, and protecting our environment were front and center.
- The Council held a discussion on developing a shared strategy for expanding pre-kindergarten and early care and education programs in Montgomery County.
- The Council introduced a zoning text amendment to support wineries and other alcohol production on farms.
- See last week’s proclamations recognizing April 10, 2018 as Equal Pay Day and celebrating the Poolesville High School Girls Varsity Basketball Team for its unprecedented undefeated season and state championship.
How do I…
…follow the Council committee’s work on the budget.
As the committees works on different budget items, you can follow along issue-by-issue by reading the Council staff packets, which are comprehensive memos evaluating the proposed budget as well as staff recommendations on the budget.
Visit the Council’s operating budget page, and click on one of the six committees. You will see a list of the links to the latest staff packets with the name of the relevant County department, agency, or program.