Governor’s Capital Budget To Include $350M For School Construction

Reports today indicate that Governor O’Malley will propose a capital budget for FY 2013 containing $350 million in funding for public schools projects.

The Washington Post reports:

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley on Tuesday will propose spending more than $350 million next year on public school construction, the second highest amount in state history, according to several people familiar with his plans.

O’Malley (D) will cast his proposal as one in a series of initiatives meant to spur job creation as the state recovers from the national recession, aides said.

O’Malley, whose office declined to comment publicly Monday on his plans, has sought to make school construction a priority since he first ran for governor in 2006. News of an uptick in funding was welcomed by officials in the Washington suburbs.

MACo’s Legislative Committee adopted its annual initiatives for 2012, including School Construction and Renovation Funding on this list of top priority items for the 2012 legislative session. From the initiative summary:

School Construction and Renovation Funding

While the State has laudably increased its school construction and renovation efforts in recent years, the need for funding remains high. Every state dollar invested in school projects leverages roughly two county dollars of local funding. MACo urges the General Assembly to continue its commitment by keeping school construction and renovation funding a high priority, and support a funding level consistent with its own adopted multi-year goals. Additionally, MACo urges the State to develop and adopt a new multi-year funding strategy as the current goal expires in FY 2013.

From an analysis last year by the Department of Legislative Services, the proposed $350 million would be the largest sum committed since the FY 2008 budget.

A summary of last year’s projects requested – both funded and delayed – is available online here.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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