Residents can sign-up to testify or give budget testimony online

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball will hold his second Resident’s Budget Hearing for the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) budget cycle on Tuesday, March 9th at 6:00 p.m. This year’s budget hearing will be held virtually and can be watched live from the County Council’s streaming website; the hearing will be listed under “Upcoming Events.”

“As we confront the economic challenges and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s vital that we hear from our community on what matters most,” said Ball. “I encourage our residents to participate in our upcoming budget hearing and provide input on this year’s budget, we want to hear from you about the projects that will make a difference and provide a positive impact on life in Howard County. We have tough choices to make and will need to prioritize.”

Beginning Wednesday, February 24th, residents will be able to sign-up ONLINE to speak at the hearing by going to www.howardcountymd.gov/budgettestimony. Speakers must sign-up individually, and one person may not sign-up for several testifiers. Additionally, individual testimony is limited to three minutes and group testimony is limited to five. Speakers who have a document or record they wish to submit with their testimony are asked to email the file to budgettestimony@howardcountymd.gov, with “BUDGET TESTIMONY” in the subject line.

From the same link, residents will also have the option to provide online budget testimony; however, residents are reminded that internet testimony is considered public information and, as such, is subject to the Maryland Public Information Act.

If you have any questions and/or problems registering for the Budget Hearing, please contact the Budget Office at 410-313-2077 (voice) or use Relay at 7-1-1, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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We do not have a lot of public information about the budget outlook this year…but we do have this information:

Howard County Government letter to the Board of Education concerning the proposed HCPSS FY22 budgets

One thing from that letter sent yesterday residents should know:

“After accounting for mandated expenditures like annual service payments related to the Courthouse P3 project ($9.9 million) and debt service payments ($3.3 million), just $12.9 million in funding growth remains to support the entirety of County public services, including 26 County government agencies, three educational entities (HCPSS, Howard Community College and the Howard County Library System), and our non- profit partners.”

Here is the full FY22 Budget Calendar for Howard County Government:  https://cc.howardcountymd.gov/Portals/0/FY22%20Budget%20Calendar%28v_3%29FINAL.pdf

The budget cycle kicks off in April 2021:

  • Monday, April 19, 6:30p.m.: County Executive’s Budget Presentation to the County Council

This is setting up to be a difficult budget season for many entities funded by county government. Residents should know that early on in the process and base their expectations with the data provided.

Scott E

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