Council to Host Budget Forum, But Warns of Limited Money


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The Montgomery County Council will host a public forum on budget planning in an attempt to alert residents to another expected difficult budget season, especially in terms of new state requirements for school funding. The 90-minute session will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 29 in the Third Floor Council Hearing Room (100 Maryland Ave., Rockville) and will include a briefing on challenges the Council expects in finding money for any desired programs. In a press release Tuesday, a new state requirement that counties take on a larger portion of funding for teacher pensions seemed to take the brunt of the blame for those challenges. “It is essential for the Council to understand how legislative changes at the state level will impact the County's operating budget in Fiscal Year 2014 and how these changes will impact the County's ability to fund government services over time,” Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Silver Spring) said in the release. "This budget forum is an opportunity for the Council to share information with community organizations throughout the County and to discuss how state budget decisions impact services at the local level." The Council is also inviting residents to comment and ask questions about programs in next year's budget, but outgoing Council President Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) cautioned about how much the group could actually change. “The past few years have been economically challenging for the County as they have been for individuals, families, and businesses all across the country,” Berliner said. “The upcoming year’s operating budget looks like it will be no less difficult.”

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