This morning, the House of Delegates heard three bills involving the State’s nontransportation capital spending. The fiscal 2014 nontransportation capital improvement program totals approximately $1.56 billion. The program is funded by debt and current funds, and keeps within The Capital Debt Affordability Committee (CDAC) guidelines for a general obligation (GO) debt limit of $1.075 billion, which were previously reported on Conduit Street.
The capital budget bills heard today provide funding to several projects and programs for counties, including education:
HB 101 Maryland Consolidated Capital Bond Loan of 2013 authorizes the use of $1.1 billion for building expenses and capital equipment purchases of the State. Funding for non-profit arts and community organizations are included in this bill, which also provides funding to local education agencies. For example, the bill provides over $30 million to the Community College Facilities Grant Program, and $300 million to the Public School Construction Program, and over $6 million to the Aging Schools Program.
HB 115 Creation of a State Debt – Qualified Zone Academy Bonds provides $4.5 million for grants to the Interagency Committee on School Construction and the Maryland State Department of Education for development and improvements. MACo testified in support of this legislation, which supports programs that fill an important niche by covering projects that would not normally qualify as true capital projects eligible for general obligation bond (GO) funding.
HB 1372 Prior Authorizations of State Debt to Fund Capital Projects – Alterations provides additional funding for local initiatives such as youth, arts, and community centers, fire stations and University of Maryland projects. There are several $50,000-$200,000 grants to local high schools, and cultural and social service organizations for renovations in this legislation.
For more information on capital budget funding, see the Department of Legislative Services’ agency-by-agency reports and the Analysis of the FY 2014 Maryland Executive Budget, 2013 Session Capital Budget Overview, which provides a list of the Top General Obligation/Revenue Bond Funded Programs and Projects for fiscal 2014.