March 16, 2022

County Executive Elrich Releases $6.3 Billion Recommended Fiscal Year 2023 Operating Budget That Would Provide Record Funding for Education, Affordable Housing and Efforts to Combat Climate Change

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich this week released his recommended Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Operating Budget of $6.3 billion, which is an increase of 5.7 percent from FY22 approved all funds budget (County Government plus outside agencies). It is a 7 percent increase for the Montgomery County Government (all funds except for debt service). The recommended FY23 budget reflects significant and record-level investments for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Montgomery College, affordable housing, economic development, public safety and efforts to combat climate change.

To access the entire recommended FY23 budget, click here. To watch the FY23 recommended budget presentation, click

The County Charter requires the County Executive to present a recommended budget by March 15 of each year. The recommended budget will be reviewed by the County Council over the next two months. The Council will adopt the new County budget in late May. The new budget will go into effect on July 1.

“Because of the investments we have made in our community, the County’s fiscal picture has drastically improved,” said County Executive Elrich. “This budget is put forth as our community is emerging from the devastating impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic. It makes record investments in our community to ensure that our community’s prosperity continues and that everyone, regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, gender or color, can better access it. Looking ahead, these critical investments in people and businesses position all of us to respond to future challenges, including climate change.”

When County Executive Elrich entered office, he needed to resolve an almost $90 million gap that had to be addressed in his first recommended budget (FY20). The next two budgets (FY21 and FY22) faced additional constraints and were predominantly driven by the County’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis. The recommended FY23 budget is significant from prior budgets in multiple ways. It begins in a better financial situation, at least in part due to the Charter change that County Executive Elrich championed. This budget makes significant community investments while also—for the first time—meeting the County’s 10 percent of adjusted governmental revenues reserve target. Importantly, this recommended FY23 budget was developed while considering the impacts on climate change and addressing racial equity and social justice.

Highlights of the FY23 Recommended Operating Budget:

  • Applies Racial Equity and Climate Change Lenses that are reflected in decisions throughout the budget
  • Largest Budget EVER for Montgomery County Public Schools if approved - $2.9 billion – a $147.6 million increase from FY22
    • $117.4 million ABOVE the State’s Maintenance of Effort Requirement
    • Funds 100 percent of student needs (99 percent of the school board’s request)
  • Fully funds Montgomery College’s budget request, including $3.3 million to establish the College’s East County Education Center
  • Record funding for climate change initiatives including:
    • $18.6 million in new funds for the Montgomery County Green Bank
    • New $1 million program to provide incentives for residential, multifamily, and commercial buildings to replace fossil fuel equipment and appliances with electric ones
    • More than $1 million to support the implementation of the Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) program to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in public and private multifamily and commercial buildings
  • Highest level of funding in County history for affordable housing:
    • Nearly $140 million to expand the preservation and production of housing that is affordable to the most economically burdened residents
  • Enhances police recruitment and retention by strengthening the competitiveness of police compensation in relation to neighboring jurisdictions while expanding the police recruitment unit to attract top talent
  • Significant enhancements for individuals and families to create food security, financial and housing stability, and more inclusive prosperity
  • Additional investments in economic development and workforce training

Public Schools & Services for Children:

“Montgomery County’s world-class public education system is one of our County’s crown jewels,” said County Executive Elrich. “Due to the pandemic over the last two years, our children have suffered significant learning loss and it is critical that we increase our investment in their education opportunities. I am proud to have funded MCPS $117.4 million above the State’s Maintenance of Effort Requirement, and fully funded student needs. We also invested $20 million for our Early Care and Education Initiative as well as significant enhancements for after school programs that will help our kids catch up and accelerate their learning.”

Highlights include:
  • Largest Budget EVER for Montgomery County Public Schools if approved - $2.9 billion - $147.6 million increase from FY22
  • $117.4 million ABOVE the State’s Maintenance of Effort Requirement
  • Funds 99 percent of the Montgomery County Board of Education’s Request.
  • $920,000 to open the new Kennedy High School Wellness Center, plus $3.7 million to expand mental health support services at 10 of County’s highest need high schools
  • $630,000 to operate new Linkages to Learning Sites at Gaithersburg Elementary School No. 8 and Odessa Shannon Middle School
  • Significant enhancements for Out-of-School Time programming - $330,000 for Kids Day Out, $104,000 for Extended Summer Camp Program, $668,000 for two new Excel Beyond the Bell Program Sites, and $350,000 for RecZone Highschool Program
  • Provides $20 million in resources in FY23 for the Early Care and Education Initiative
  • $372,000 increase for KID Museum for a total budget of $1.6 million

Support for Individuals and Families:

“Over the past two years, residents of Montgomery County have suffered job losses and personal and financial hardships that continues to impact our economy,” said County Executive Elrich. “As we recover from the impacts of the pandemic, we must not forget the toll it has taken on so many vulnerable individuals and families. My recommended FY23 budget was created with the goal of providing equity, opportunity and support for every County resident in need of assistance.”

Highlights Include:
  • $5.6 million in total funding for service consolidation hubs
  • $5.5 million total programming dollars across County government to support newly arriving migrant and asylum-seeking children, adolescents, and a families
  • Significant funding increases for the African American Health Program ($2.9 million) Latino Health Initiative ($2.2 million), and Asian American Health Initiative ($1.2 million)
  • $2.6 million for the Guaranteed Income Pilot Program once approved
  • Creation of an Office of Food System Resilience, enhanced grant funding for food assistance programs, and $4 million to continue to directly provide food to individuals and families most at need
  • Record funding to continue our efforts to end homelessness--$2 million more to provide an additional 120 rapid rehousing slots and $3 million more to increase the maximum rental assistance subsidy for more families in DHHS.
  • $600,000 to provide year-round comprehensive health services to residents of the County’s year-round homeless shelters
  • $1 million to create and staff a new adult protective services team to investigate cases of abuse of older residents and vulnerable residents
  • $1.1 million increase to support the Developmental Disabilities Supplement program for a total program budget of $20.3 million
  • $1.4 million increase for the Medical Adult Day Care Supplement program for a total program budget of $2.1 million
  • $1 million to support the transition to the 9-8-8 three digit dialing code to connect residents with suicide prevention and mental health crisis services
  • $800,000 to continue to address increased call volume at EveryMind, the County’s mental health hotline

Environmental Sustainability & Climate Change:

“Over the last three years, Montgomery County has quickly become one of our nation’s leading jurisdictions in combatting climate change,” said County Executive Elrich. “Our Climate Action Plan is one of the most aggressive in the country with the goal of reducing 100 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. Our efforts toward building energy performance standards have been recognized by The White House and emulated by other jurisdictions. However, we are already behind on our efforts and must do more. I am proud that my FY23 recommended budget continues our efforts to combat this crisis and establishes Montgomery County as a regional, state, national, and global leader on this issue that is critically important to future generations who will inherit this planet.”

Highlights Include:
  • $18.6 million in new funds for the Montgomery County Green Bank
  • New $1 million program to provide incentives for residential, multifamily, and commercial buildings to replace fossil fuel equipment and appliances with electric ones
  • Over $1 million to support the implementation of the Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) program to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in public and private multifamily and commercial buildings
  • $675,000 to implement greenhouse gas reduction and adaptation measures in low- and moderate-income housing
  • $810,000 in additional funding to improve the health of our urban forests
  • $300,000 for the Community Justice Academy for engagement with vulnerable and historically marginalized communities
  • $100,000 in incentives for individuals and businesses to electrify lawncare equipment
  • Staffing to develop energy and green building codes and interface with the public about green building compliance and building electrification and energy efficiency
  • $1.3 million in enhancements to the Water Quality Protection Fund budget for the Rainscapes program, stream restoration maintenance and inspection, a Senior Engineer position in the Office of Agriculture for soil conservation, among other enhancements
  • New $400,000 Save-As-You-Throw pilot program in Recycling and Resource Management to encourage residents to recycle more and generate less waste
  • Broadscale climate communication campaigns, agrivoltaic technical assistance for agricultural land, and an Agricultural Business Development Specialist in the Office of Agriculture
  • Almost $1 million to accelerate nature-based carbon sequestration initiatives

Transportation and Transit:

“With gas prices currently at record highs disproportionately impacting lower income residents, we must continue to invest and improve our transportation and transit infrastructure,” said County Executive Elrich. “Following record level recommended funding in my proposed capital budget this year for Bus Rapid Transit and Vision Zero pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements, I am pleased that we are recommending significant operating funding that improves, expands and makes transit more affordable and equitable.”

Highlights include:
  • Restores Ride On service and Call-N-Ride to pre-pandemic levels and maintains Bikeshare program
  • Reduces regular fares on all Ride On routes by one-half, bringing the cost of most Ride On trips to $1
  • $1 million to add capital and operating grants programs for Transportation Services Nonprofit Organizations
  • $550,000 for transportation accessibility initiatives
  • Aggressively moves forward with a transition to a zero-emissions County fleet by providing $1.8 million to replace fossil fueled County vehicles with zero emission vehicles (this is in addition to the funding included in the capital budget to move to a zero-emissions bus fleet)
  • Enhanced funding for installation and support for the County’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Affordable Housing:

“In Montgomery County, we have approximately 20,000 families spending 50 to 60 percent of their income on their housing – this is not acceptable nor sustainable,” said County Executive Elrich. “Creating and expanding affordable housing opportunities is one of our County’s toughest, complicated and long-lasting challenges. I am proud to recommend the highest level of funding in County history—nearly $140 million to expand the preservation and production of housing that will be affordable to the most economically burdened residents.”

Highlights include:
  • $57 million for the Montgomery Housing Initiative operating budget
  • $42.7 million for existing capital projects
  • $40 million for a new Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) Fund capital project
  • The NOAH Fund project will preserve and create affordable housing properties in areas at risk of rent escalation to higher market rents, including the Purple Line Corridor and County transit corridors
  • Continues funding support of the Building Neighborhood to Call Home program and the Housing First program
  • Sets aside $2 million from existing resources to explore, subject to the County’s collective bargaining laws, a pilot program for down payment assistance to full-time career employees of Montgomery County and Montgomery County Public Schools to help make first time homebuying more affordable in the County

Public Safety:

“Throughout our State and nation, we have seen an increase in crime and Montgomery County has not been immune to this troubling trend,” said County Executive Elrich. “Two budget cycles ago, I proposed raising the salaries of our police officers, which were among the lowest in the region, so we could more quickly fill vacant positions and compete for the best qualified officers to serve our residents. At that time, the County Council opted for a ‘same services’ budget. As I re-attempt this effort, I hope that the Council will agree that these salary increases are greatly needed and deserved. I am also proud to be recommending mental health supports for our police officers and sheriff deputies as well as more funds and programs for our Fire and Rescue Services, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.”

Highlights Include:
  • Police Department
    • Enhances police recruitment and retention by strengthening the competitiveness of police compensation in relation to neighboring jurisdictions
    • Expands the police recruitment unit to attract top talent
    • Adds three civilian staff to support Public Information Act requests
    • Adds two sworn positions to support random review of police footage
    • $75,000 to purchase non-lethal pepper-ball guns
  • In the Office of Human Resources, provides one new position to support mental health assessments for police officers and sheriff's deputies
  • $800,000 in the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for nonprofit security grants for organizations at high risk of experiencing hate crimes
  • In the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, eliminates administrative fees for participants in court related diversion programs including the Intervention Program for Substance Abusers and Alternative Community Services Programs and creates the bakery program to expand workforce development programming for inmates
  • Fire and Rescue Services

Leverages funds from the State's Emergency Service Transporter Supplemental Payment Program to:

  • Expand the Mobile Integrated Health Program to address the needs of frequent 911 callers
  • Add a Paramedic Chase Car to Serve Silver Spring
  • Add career staffing at Sandy Spring Fire Station 40 to bolster volunteer staffing
  • Add an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) System Capacity Officer to balance emergency department loads
  • Add an EMS Duty Officer position to enhance medical supervision in the field
  • $1.65M for Local Volunteer Fire Departments to enhance EMS activities and infrastructure
  • Funds two new positions to expand mental health services for fire and rescue personnel

Libraries and Recreation:

“The Montgomery County Public Library System and Department of Recreation have been two departments that have been innovative, flexible, and indispensable to our residents during the pandemic,” said County Executive Elrich. “I am so grateful and appreciative to all the employees of these departments for their outreach, engagement, and support of our residents during this challenging time. I am pleased to recommend millions in additional funding to these operations who will be critical to our continued recovery from COVID, specifically their efforts to help our children catch up with their learning and socialization losses due to the pandemic.”

Highlights Include:
  • Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL)
    • $1.5 million in additional funding to fill additional librarian positions to support additional hours and improve customer service
    • $900,000 in additional funds to purchase eBooks to reduce wait times for residents seeking information
  • Department of Recreation
    • $2.3 million to open the South County Regional Recreation and Aquatic Center
    • Funding to support Independence Day celebrations in Germantown and Wheaton
    • $250,000 for programs, classes and events to help older adults overcome the long-term impact of COVID
    • Additional funding for administrative support and a new community liaison program to enhance outreach and collaboration among community groups

Community Partners:

“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that government cannot face these extraordinary challenges and solve problems on our own,” said County Executive Elrich. “We are so fortunate to have incredible community partners who have stepped up and become valuable supports to our residents and assets to our response and recovery efforts. I am pleased that the FY23 recommend operating budget includes establishing a new Office of Grants Management, $8.2 million for community grants and $3 million for capital cost sharing community grants.”

Highlights include:
  • New Office of Grants Management is established
  • Six percent inflationary adjustment for nonprofit service provider contracts across County government
  • 45 programs previously funded through Community Grants Non-Departmental Account budget moved to the base budgets of departments ($2.3 million)
  • $8.2 million for community grants in the Community Grants Non-Departmental Account
  • $3 million for capital cost sharing community grants
  • Three broad buckets of funding for grants in FY23
  • $750,000 - Nonprofit technical assistance and management support
  • $750,000 - Children, youth, and family programs in underserved communities
  • $500,000 for business district development grants

Effective and Sustainable Government:

“Since taking office, I have insisted that the Montgomery County government utilize innovation to implement best practices while improving constituent services,” said County Executive Elrich. “As I near the end of my first term in office, I am proud of the resilience and dedication of the employees of this government who have served with distinction during one of the toughest periods in our County’s history. In midst of the crises caused by the pandemic, this government has become more effective and efficient while also becoming a national leader in terms of pandemic response.”

Highlights Include:
  • $2.3 million increase for Board of Elections for general election support
  • $2.5 million to fully fund the recommendation for the Public Elections Fund
  • Additional support for MC311 (six term positions) and the Public Information Office (two communications officers) to enhance public engagement
  • Significant enhancements for the Office of Human Resources to bolster recruitment, training, classification and compensation and replace the applicant tracking system
  • New capital asset management system in the Department of General Services to track, monitor and provide long-range planning for maintenance and replacement of capital assets
  • Significant enhancements to the County’s cybersecurity and technological infrastructure

Other Enhancements:

“Our partnering organizations, utilities, and municipalities are critical toward our efforts to best serve our residents,” said County Executive Elrich. “I have recommended funding increases toward the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the WSSC. And, after decades of our municipalities arguing for a fairer budgeting arrangement with the County, we finally negotiated a solution to this problem as well as increase funds to our municipalities by $8.1 million.”

Highlights include:
  • Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission – $180 million (an increase of $10.6 million over last year).
  • WSSC Water – 6.5-percent rate increase per the Council’s Spending Affordability Guidelines
  • Payments to Municipalities Budget increases by $8.1 million (including the consolidation of the Takoma Park Police Payment into this budget), to implement the newly negotiated agreement with municipalities on reimbursements of duplicative services
  • Fully funds the request of the County Council and Legislative Branch departments
  • Adds funding to re-create the Office of the People’s Counsel in the Legislative Branch