By Elliott Francis
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett is calling for a reduction in government spending for the first time in more than 40 years.
The $4.3 billion funding measure will help close one of the largest projected budget deficits in the region. However, County executive Leggett made one thing clear, saying, "Let there be no mistake. There is pain in this budget."
The plan would lay off as many as 232 county employees. There will be no pay raises, and most remaining county workers will be forced to take 10 days of unpaid leave under a cost cutting furlough program.
And Leggett says, that's not all.
This budget will include numerous reductions in services across all programs. These include health and human services, public safety, libraries, technology, and other county services and functions.
The proposal would also cut school funding by $137 million. Since that figure is lower than the state mandated level, the county will need to get an exemption from the state or risk losing additional funding for schools.
Leggett is calling for an energy tax that would cost about $3 per month for the average household. He's renewed the possibility of an ambulance fee that has been rejected by the county council in the past.