Archive for March, 2017

Maggie’s Legislative Update: The Capital Budget

Posted by Matt on March 30, 2017  |   Comments Off on Maggie’s Legislative Update: The Capital Budget

Friends,

Yesterday the House of Delegates completed work on the Capital Budget Bill. I wanted to speak a little more about the Capital Budget as a whole and share with you some of the highlights for Baltimore City.

The capital budget funds building, construction, demolition, planning, renovation, conversion, replacement, and capital equipment for State facilities such as parks, hospitals, and public higher education institutions. Additionally, it funds local projects in every Maryland county ranging from public schools to community health centers. This year’s capital budget authorizes a total of $1.09 billion in investments.

In late February, all three major rating agencies once again affirmed the State’s “Triple A” bond rating. Maryland has the distinction of being 1 of 10 states in the country to maintain such a rating. Our strong bond rating allows Maryland to make capital investments at a lower cost to taxpayers. Continue Reading…

Maggie’s Legislative Update: Operating Budget Update

Posted by Matt on March 28, 2017  |   Comments Off on Maggie’s Legislative Update: Operating Budget Update

Friends,

Today, the House and Senate completed work on Maryland’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget. I wanted to give you a quick update on some of the highlights and what they mean for Baltimore City parents, teachers, and kids.

First and foremost, this budget helps to alleviate the structural deficit that would have devastating effects on Baltimore City classrooms. I’ve written previously about the causes that drive the deficit, but one of the biggest components is declining student enrollment over the past two years. The budget includes funding for Baltimore City and other declining enrollment jurisdictions across the state to help alleviate the immediate budget pressures presented by a drop in student enrollment. This aid totals approximately $23.7 million for Baltimore City Public Schools for the coming fiscal year. The budget also transfers excess city bottle tax revenues into the schools, gives the City some measure of relief from ongoing pension obligations, and funds free MTA ridership for eligible Baltimore City students. In all, the City schools receive about $38 million in additional State aid in this budget and a total increase of $60 million from the City and State. Continue Reading…

Maggie’s Legislative Update: The State Budget

Posted by Matt on March 16, 2017  |   Comments Off on Maggie’s Legislative Update: The State Budget

Friends,

Today, the House of Delegates passed the Fiscal Year 2018 operating budget on a vote of 135-6. To borrow the words of former Appropriations chair Pete Rawlings, this budget is fiscally prudent and socially responsible. It is fiscally prudent, resolving the structural deficit this year and leaving more than $137 million in reserve. It also maintains a balance of nearly $1 billion in the Rainy Day Fund. It is also socially responsible, fully funding K-12 education, restoring after-school funding for our poorest students, and investing in health care, especially for the poor and elderly. Continue Reading…

Maggie’s Legislative Update: March 13, 2017

Posted by Matt on March 13, 2017  |   Comments Off on Maggie’s Legislative Update: March 13, 2017

Friends,

Saturday marked an annual Annapolis tradition known as “Bond Bill Saturday”. That is the day that requests for local capital grants are all heard in the House and Senate. These initiatives include construction capital for projects like parks, community centers, places of historical significance, and small museums.  This year, as he did last year, Governor Hogan has not provided funding in his submitted capital budget for these legislature-driven initiatives.

This year, I have sponsored a bond bill to help with planning for renovation of Manna House’s longtime home on 25th Street in Charles Village. Manna House provides a number of community services for the disadvantaged, including serving tens of thousands of meals to Baltimore’s homeless every year. If awarded, they will have funding to begin work on expanding and modernizing their kitchen facilities.

There was lots of activity in Annapolis this past week. Friday, the Appropriations Committee, which I chair, issued its initial report on the Fiscal Year 2018 state budget. I’ll have much more on the budget bill later this week when it’s considered by the full House of Delegates. Below, you’ll find updates on funding for Baltimore City Schools, a ban on fracking, and more.

Have a great week and avoid the snow!

 

 

Maggie

Continue Reading…