Police officers hold up signs protesting furloughs as county council members adopted the budget.
By Matt Bush
Montgomery County Council members officially adopted a new budget for the next fiscal year amid one final protest.
Police packed the council hearing room as the final vote was taken to protest furlough days they must take. All unionized workers except those who work for county schools must take between three and eight furloughs as part of cuts in the budget.
Furloughs could be part of the next budget too, according to Councilman Mike Knapp, who voted against this budget.
"We saw lots of folks who were unhappy with our outcome," he says. "Do we really want to continue all that anxiety with all of our employees for the next 12 to 16 months?"
Many unions are upset that school employees will not have to take furloughs, believing the school system did not sacrifice the way other government agencies did. Money for the school system takes up 57 percent of the county budget.