As reported in the Baltimore Sun, this past Friday the House of Delegates approved a $1.1 billion plan to rebuild Baltimore’s deteriorated school buildings, sending the bill to the Senate. The vote was 107 to 30, with about a dozen Republicans joining all Democrats in supporting the bill. As described by the Sun,
The legislation is a modified version of a plan conceived by city schools chief Andres Alonso and supported by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. In its current form, the bill would allot $20 million a year in state lottery funds to match like amounts from both Baltimore and the city school system. . . The money would allow the Maryland Stadium Authority to issue bonds to build an estimated 15 new schools and renovate about 35 others.
According to the Department of Legislation Services, HB 860 Baltimore City Public Schools Construction and Revitalization Act of 2013, grants the Baltimore City Public Schools Construction Authority the ability to issue bonds up to $1.2 billion to support construction and renovation of public school facilities in the city. The bill also requires the State to provide a block grant to the authority beginning in fiscal 2015 and each year thereafter. The grant must be for the greater of 12% of the entire State public school construction capital program or $32.0 million, adjusted annually for inflation. The bill also raises the statutory debt limit for the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners from $100.0 million to $200.0 million.
For more information about the impact of the legislation, see the bill’s complete fiscal and policy note. The Senate Budget & Taxation Committee is scheduled to hear the bill tomorrow at 1pm.