The Bucks County Commissioners released their preliminary 2018 operating budget Wednesday morning, which calls for $426 million.

The proposed budget is a 2.8 percent increase compared to 2017.

Charles Martin, chairman, Robert Loughery, and Diane Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW, along with Chief Operating Officer Brian Hessenthaler and Director of Finance and Administration David Boscola authorized the preliminary operating budget for Fiscal Year 2018.

Bucks County is projected to carry a general fund balance of $39.6 million into the new year. The preliminary plan remains a “work-in-progress” and still requires input from the Board of Commissioners, administrations, courts and row offices.

As seen in previous years, the County’s Health and Housing & Human Services accounts for the largest portion of the preliminary budget at 48 percent or $262.1 million. Departments related to public safety account for 28 percent or $156.4 million of the total.

The preliminary budget includes provisions to departments serving Bucks County residents such as Area Agency on Aging (AAA), Behavioral Health, Board of Elections, Children & Youth Social Services Agency, Corrections, Emergency Services, General Services, Health and Emergency Health, Mental Health/Development Programs (MH/DP), Parks and Recreation and Veterans Affairs, among others.

The budget also provides for courts and nine elected row offices.

The next public budget meeting will be Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. in the Bucks County Administration Building Commissioners’ Meeting Room.

The final consideration and adoption of the 2018 budget is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. during another Commissioners’ Meeting.