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Keyword: kamenetz

Baltimore County’s unemployment rate has dropped to 4.2%, a full .2% below the national rate. The April jobs report brings total County employment to 433,399, continuing the positive employment trend in Maryland’s third largest jurisdiction.

“We all benefit when more people bring home a paycheck,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

The Baltimore County unemployment rate has been almost cut in half since County Executive Kamenetz came into office, dropping from 8.1% in December 2010 to 4.2% in April 2017.

By Kevin Kamenetz, Baltimore County Executive

Building any budget means taking a long, hard look at priorities, whether it’s for your family or for Maryland’s third largest jurisdiction.

In Baltimore County, we plan ahead and budget conservatively, so we can invest in what’s important to the people who live and do business here. The budget I submitted for the coming fiscal year supports our commitments to invest in education, keep communities safe, improve aging infrastructure, and create recreation and open spaces. I am pleased that the County Council shares these priorities and adopted this budget, with no cuts, on May 25, 2017. 

Here is Baltimore County’s FY2018 budget at a glance:

Holding the line on taxes

Steady economic growth is building our tax base, so we can preserve our quality of life while keeping tax rates stable. This budget maintains the current income and property tax rates.

Commitment to education 

  • Over 60% of the County’s operating budget, $1.9 billion, for public schools, libraries, and the Community College of Baltimore County

Schools for Our Future

  • Continues $1.3 billion program that is building 16 new schools, 12 additions and 7 major renovations, including central air conditioning and seats to relieve overcrowding.
  • Accelerates school construction at Bedford, Berkshire, Chadwick and Colgate elementary schools and funds a new middle school in Perry Hall and an addition to Pine Grove Middle School in Carney.

Commitment to public safety

  • Funds body camera program for police officers.
  • Funds design for $27 million to upgrade the 911 emergency communication system.
  • Increases volunteer fire department funding.

Maintaining aging infrastructure

  • $470 million to improve water and sewer infrastructure, reduce water main breaks and waste overflows. 
  • $38 million to resurface County roads.

Helping in times of personal crisis

  • New Eastern Family Resource Center will expand health services and add shelter beds for men and women.

Green spaces and recreation places

  • $10.5 million for recreation and parks, including new turf fields, resurfacing tennis and multipurpose courts, refurbishing ball diamonds and back stops. 

Working with our dedicated County employees and officials, we are pleased to provide all county employees a 2% cost of living increase on July 1, while funding all salary steps and increments. 

We continue to operate a government that is innovative, responsible and efficient. We are committed to keeping Baltimore County a welcoming place where people want to live, work and learn. And we always lead by example.

Details of the FY2018 budget can be found here.  

By Kevin Kamenetz, Baltimore County Executive

For 90 days in Annapolis, we fought hard, testified at hearings, and made our case for Baltimore County. We secured a total of $942 million in State funding for education, health, public safety, transportation, school construction, road and infrastructure projects in our County. We fought for new laws to protect victims of sexual assault, combat skyrocketing drug prices, overhaul the cash bail system, grow our craft brewing industry, and protect the Bay by extending Maryland’s fracking ban. With strong support and advocacy from Baltimore County’s State delegates and senators, we brought it home from Annapolis.

State funding for County priorities

Baltimore County secured $841 million in State aid for education, libraries, the Community College of Baltimore County, health, public safety, recreation and open space. 

Why it matters  As Maryland’s third largest jurisdiction with a growing population, Baltimore County residents deserve their fair share of State funding. State and County funds protect and improve our quality of life, from 21st century libraries and community college to parks and open space for our neighborhoods. 

State funding for school construction

Secured $48.3 million in State matching funds toward public school construction. 

Why it matters  The County’s $1.3 billion Schools for Our Future school construction program will eliminate overcrowding, modernize facilities and add air conditioning. The ten-year initiative, the largest single school construction program in Maryland, is building 16 new schools, 12 additions, and 7 major renovations.

Easing traffic congestion to support job growth

Delivered $50 million in State funding for transportation projects in Owings Mills, Sparrows Point, White Marsh and around the beltway.  

Why it matters  Most of the Baltimore beltway is in Baltimore County. Funding beltway widening is critical to ease traffic congestion, especially during commuter rush hours. Other projects in key employment areas include the Dolfield Avenue interchange on I-795, widening Philadelphia Road from Mohrs Lane to Campbell Boulevard, and bus routes and bridge repair at Sparrows Point.

Supporting local breweries

Maryland craft brewers can now sell more beer at their production taprooms. 

Why it matters The new law opens opportunities for Baltimore County brewers Heavy Seas, Key Brewing, Du Claw and White Marsh Brewing Company. Coming soon: a new $50 million Guinness innovation brewery in Relay, bringing 70 jobs and a major tourist attraction for Baltimore County.

Combating high drug prices

The County supported a new law that allows the Maryland attorney general to sue drug companies when prices of generic drugs soar dramatically.

Why it matters We all pay when drug companies drive up their prices. Baltimore County insures thousands of local government workers.

Protect victims of sexual assault

“No means no.” We fought for a law that simplifies the definition of rape and sexual assault. Police departments now must store rape kits for 20 years.

Why it matters This new law puts the focus on the actions of the person accused of assault, not the victim, and preserves evidence for police and prosecutors during investigations. 

Overhauling the cash bail system

Supported a new State law that overhauls the cash-based bail system for defendants awaiting trial. 

Why it matters Defendants should not be penalized just because they can’t afford cash bail. The issues for a judge should be whether the defendant is a threat to the community and can be relied on to return to court.

Baltimore County does not operate in a vacuum. Policy and funding decisions at the State level have direct and often lasting impact on everyone living and working here. We will continue to fight for the resources that Baltimore County residents need and deserve. 

Protecting the Chesapeake

Supported extension of Maryland’s fracking ban.   

Why it matters Protecting the Chesapeake Bay and our water supply is fundamental.   

Baltimore County does not operate in a vacuum. Policy and funding decisions at the State level have direct and often lasting impact on everyone living and working here. We will continue to fight for the resources that Baltimore County residents need and deserve. 

Revised September 26, 2016