Lt. Governor Anthony Brown addressed MACo’s Legislative Committee on Wednesday, March 5 to discuss issues of importance pending before the Maryland General Assembly. Lt. Governor Brown began by thanking our local elected officials for their service and for working in partnership with the Administration. He then discussed the Administration’s priorities for the session.
With respect to the fiscal 2015 budget, he commented that the most controversial item is transfer of the $100 million in pension reinvestment savings to the State’s General Fund. He said that it is his hope that “pensions are not looked to to balance the budget in the future.”
A major initiative of the Lt. Governor’s is the expansion of Pre-K education. He commented that a modest step is being taken in the fiscal 2015 budget towards mandatory Pre-K and that he hopes that by 2018, half-day Pre-K will be instituted across the state. He would like to have full day Pre-K in place in 2022. As Pre-K is expanded, he said we should leverage non-profit early childhood providers.
The Lt. Governor also commented on raising the minimum wage and the administration’s domestic violence package.
Dorchester County Commissioner, Richard Price, asked the Lt. Governor about the loss of Highway User Revenue (HUR). In response, the Lt. Governor stated that he would like to “lock in a formula that could be fully funded from year to year.” He said he would also look at what is in arrears and then determine “what can reasonably be made good on over a period of time.”
Members of the MACo Legislative Committee include representatives from Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. Each county gets one vote on the Legislative Committee. The committee meets regularly on Wednesdays at the MACo office during the General Assembly Session. During the interim, the committee meets quarterly to develop legislative priorities for the coming year.
Note: An original version of this article inadvertently left the impression that the Lieutenant Governor supported the long term use of pension funds to resolve the state budget shortfalls. The error has been corrected, and the correct phrasing (…it is his hope that “pensions are not looked to to balance the budget in the future.”) appears above. MACo regrets the error.