By Tashi McQueen
AFRO Political Writer
On June 21, Mayor Brandon M. Scott signed the city’s $4.4 billion Fiscal Year 2024 budget, finalizing the process ahead of schedule.
“By signing this fiscal budget, we’re delivering a statement to Baltimoreans in every neighborhood, on every single street, outlining what this city government will do for them in the next year,” said Scott. “We’re making historic investments in education and youth engagement. We are strengthening the investments we’re making in innovative public safety approaches.”
According to the Mayor’s office, the budget will go into effect on July 1.
City legislators said the budget will fund 7,000 young people to work Youth Works and support recreational centers through a $41 million investment in Baltimore City Recreation and Park (BCRP).
“This budget includes provisions to help tackle vacant properties, including $6.8 million for citywide demolition and stabilization and $390,000 to create additional positions in our housing department to support this work,” said Scott. “It also includes $5.8 million to create a new agency focused on supporting minority-owned businesses.”
Council President Nick Mosby mentioned the historical aspect of this year’s budget.
“It’s the first time in 125 years that the council has been able to work with the mayor and his administration to ensure that the priorities of the city are level set, and we are good partners in progress,” said Mosby.
“This budget includes provisions to help tackle vacant properties, including $6.8 million for citywide demolition and stabilization and $390,000 to create additional positions in our housing department to support this work.”
The council moved $10 million around with the newfound power. With it, they prioritized better equipment for firefighters, violence prevention and better facilities for laborers.
] trucks that sanitation drivers drive– some don’t have air conditioning. Can you imagine picking up trash and it is 102 degrees in the city,” said Councilman Robert R. Stokes, Sr. (D-District 12). “When you can’t take a shower before going home, you may take germs to your family. Really help the morale, as far as the city employees.”
Though the budget was successfully passed, it’s important to note the challenge city officials had to deal with, according to Baltimore’s new Chief Administrative Officer Faith Leach.
“It was a difficult budget year for us,” said Leach. “We were facing a gap due to increased Kirwan obligations and what we all agreed is that we needed to fund our schools at an adequate level, but that meant that we started with a deficit.”
Tashi McQueen is a Report For America Corps Member.
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