House Appropriations Committee Restores Some Community College Funding

The House Appropriations Committee met today for decisions on the fiscal 2016 budget. With regard to community college funding, the Committee voted to restore $4 million in funding that was cut in the Governor’s proposed budget.  The Governor’s proposed budget reduced community college funding by approximately $13 million as compared with the amount that would have been provided based on statutory funding formulas.

While the Department of Legislative Services recommended a reduction of approximately $11 million, the Education and Economic Development Subcommittee modified that proposal and recommended the $9 million reduction, providing $4 million back to community colleges. The House Appropriations adopted the subcommittee’s recommendation.

According to the Maryland Association of Community Colleges, in FY2015, the State originally appropriated $226 million of operating funding to community colleges, but this funding was reduced to $219 million in January 2015 due to revenue shortfalls. The House Appropriations Committee action’s would provide $222 million to community colleges for FY 2016.

The next step in the budget process will be in the floor debate in the House, and then, when passed by the House, the Senate’s consideration of the budget.