‘Cut’ to Nonprofits Should Have Been An Increase

Nonprofits on Monday urge the County Council to restore a 1 percent cut in their budgets | Montgomery County

You remember the demonstration in the Council Office Building on Monday morning? Nonprofits expressed their objection to a 1 percent cut in funding for their programs, contained in County Executive Ike Leggett’s budget. Seven Montgomery County Council members said they would erase the cut and find more money for the nonprofits.

The cut was actually a mistake.

“There was a misunderstanding,” Leggett spokesman Pat Lacefield said Wednesday. Leggett had proposed a 1 percent increase last year, and the council upped that to 2 percent. Leggett told aides he wanted to cut 1 percent from the council, meaning he wanted a 1 percent increase again. The statement got misconstrued into a 1 percent cut, Lacefield said.

One percent equals about $600,000. The nonprofit funding would pay for contracts with the county’s Department of Health and Human Services, and the cut surprised Councilmember George Leventhal, who chairs the council’s HHS committee.

“It’s a pretty healthy budget overall and that’s why the cuts to the HHS contracts were so remarkable,” he said.

Lacefield said that if the council restores the 1 percent, or exceeds the increase beyond 1 percent, “it’s done.” Otherwise, Leggett will find cuts elsewhere in the budget to restore the cut and provide the increase. And a 1 percent increase would mean the county executive would have to find $1.2 million — $600,000 to cover the decrease and $600,000 to cover the 1 percent increase.

Leggett hasn’t determined which budget would take a hit to correct the mistake.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

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