BALTIMORE, MD. (June 21, 2012) – This afternoon, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued the following statement regarding the preliminary approval of the budget for Fiscal Year 2013 by the City Council:
I want to thank the Baltimore City Council for their preliminary approval the budget for Fiscal Year 2013. The budget plan was built around our vision for growing Baltimore's population by 10,000 families in the next 10 years.
The plan closes a $48 million deficit while fully funding the City's obligation to public schools, continuing an aggressive plan to hire hundreds of new police officers to keep crime going down, and providing funding for street repair and blight elimination—all while cutting property taxes for city homeowners. Additionally, the budget supports significant funding for programs and services that impact the Baltimore's youth, despite the $48 million deficit, including:
- Increasing funding by $3.1 million for the Baltimore City Public School System. The City has increased school funding by $13.4 million over four years to meet its Maintenance of Effort requirement, while many wealthier counties have sought waivers from meeting their full payments.
- Increasing funding for the YouthWorks summer jobs program. This funding, together with participation from public and private employers, will support 5,000 summer job placements. The budget includes a $130,000 enhancement to support the placement of 350 youth in year-round employment. The City has only surpassed this number of job placements when it had federal stimulus funding.
- Maintaining funding for Youth Violence Prevention programs, including Operation Safe Kids.
- Funding school-based health centers to keep kids healthy and in school.
- Funding a new strategy by the Family League of Baltimore City for afterschool programs that will directly impact more students. Funds for these programs, which originated during the housing bubble, have been protected throughout an unprecedented fiscal crisis.
- Keeping all neighborhood library branches open to promote reading and lifelong learning.
- Opening new Community Job Hubs in neighborhoods hardest hit by the struggling economy.
- The Mayor has launched a new summer youth initiative, "Baltimore City Super Summer", which seeks to increase the number of city youth enrolled in summer meals, summer reading programs and YouthWorks.
In addition, if the proposed budget passes without amendments, the mayor has pledged to increase Child First afterschool funding through the Family League, restore funding to Experience Corps, and prevent of Fire Department demotions, among other issues.
Visit our Website @ www.baltimorecity.gov