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Prince George's County Council Approves Budget

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There are several differences between the Prince George's County Council's approved budget for next fiscal year and what County Executive Rushern Baker has proposed.

The biggest change deals with furloughs for county workers. Under Baker's plan, all county employees would have been forced to take up to five furlough days, but the county council was able to avoid that when it approved the $2.7 billion plan on Thursday.

Council members removed cuts to libraries that were also in Baker's proposal. Dealing with the proposed furloughs delayed the final vote by a week. The more than $1.6 billion that will go to the county school system complies with the state maintenance of effort requirement — a controversial law that requires counties to spend more per pupil each successive year.

The Prince George's County school system is under intense scrutiny from all sides right now, as a bill that allows the county executive more power of school matters, such as picking the new superintendent, is slated to go into effect June 1. But, if a group seeking to get the issue before county voters is successful in reaching a petition threshold, it will be delayed.

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