Berliner: Trump’s Budget Could Hit Montgomery Hard (VIDEO)
News reports say the Trump administration is seeking a historic cut in the federal work force, likely to affect Montgomery County, the home of scores of federal workers.
“Montgomery County has more federal workers than any jurisdiction in the region, and so if you’re slashing the federal payroll, you are obviously having a significant impact on Montgomery County and Montgomery County’s economy,” County Council President Roger Berliner said Monday.
Trump’s announcement comes as County Executive Ike Leggett plans this week to release his fiscal 2018 spending plan, which takes effect July 1. The lost federal jobs could lead to lost revenue for a county that prides itself on the menu of government services it provides its residents.
Even so, Berliner said he had not envisioned a program to assist displaced federal workers.
“I don’t know there’s anything we can do other than to be more realistic, perhaps, with our own budgeting,” Berliner said. “So it really is—other than feeling heartsick for all of these families—it is trying to understand its implications.”
Speaking at his weekly meeting with reporters, Berliner described some of the things his council colleagues might be looking for in Leggett’s budget, including expanded pre-kindergarten and a microloan program Berliner has been championing as a means to give the county’s immigrants access to capital to start businesses.
“It will be a conversation we’ll have as to how restrained we should be given what we don’t know at this moment in time.”