According to the MarylandReporter.com, funding for Program Open Space and other land preservation programs has remained intact for FY 2010 and beyond through the use of bonds.
All told, the state decided to borrow about $118 million this year to offset the cost of agricultural land preservation and other open land buys.
Much of that money had been put aside as proceeds from the state’s .5 percent property transfer tax, which are supposed to be dedicated to conservation programs. Many of them fall under the umbrella of Program Open Space, which supports state and local purchases and park improvements. But it also pays for other agricultural and open space purchases.
As reported previously on Conduit Street , the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA) transfers $103,113,000 of unexpended balance of the funds for the local share of Program Open Space and includes a three-year replacement of these funds using State bonding. The Governor included the first year of these funds in the proposed capital budget. During capital budget discussions, the Senate adopted this approach, but the House decided to take it one step further and pre-authorize the use of bond funds in FY 2012 and 2013 to express clear legislative intent to fully fund the program. The Capital Budget Conference Committee adopted the pre-authorization language and it was approved by the full General Assembly.