As previously posted on Conduit Street, the House of Delegates gave final approval to its budget plan last night in a 129 – 10 vote and the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee unanimously adopted its budget plan with only modest changes from the House. Senate debate on the budget will take place next week and any differences will be resolved by a House and Senate Conference Committee.
Agreed upon actions of both bodies restores funding for local governments. Actions affecting local governments are summarized below.
|Budget Category||Proposed Budget||House Action||Senate Action|
|Education Aid||Reduces funding for education by $76 million – freezes the per pupil amount at the FY 2015 level of $6,860 and delays the implementation of the phased-in change for the calculation of wealth in the education formula by one year.Geographic Cost of Education Index (GCEI) is cut in half – an approximate $64 million reduction||Restores $130 million – rejected the Governor’s proposal to freeze per pupil funding in the education formula and cap out-year growth at 1%; identified $68 million to restore GCEI;
Agreed to extend the phase-in of a wealth measure used in the funding formula – reduction of approximately $13 million.
|Concurred with House funding restoration; Altered formula to provide out-year growth of 1.5% from FY 17 – FY 20.
Concurred with House Action
|Community Colleges||Reduces funding by $13 million by modifying the community college aid formula||Restores $4 million in funding and applies a hold harmless grant to ensure no community college receives less than the prior year||Concurred with the House Action|
|Libraries||Extends the time for phasing-in the increase in the per-resident amount from 5 to 10 years; Per-resident amount increases from $14.00 to $14.27 instead of $15.00 in FY 2016||Agreed to the extend the per pupil phase-in – an approximate $2.3 million reduction||Concurred with the House Action|
|Transportation||Supplemental Budget provides $25 million for local transportation funding – $4 million counties; $19 million municipalities; $2 million Baltimore City||Approved supplemental funding, remains intact||Concurred with the House Action|
|Local Health Departments||Funding is being reduced to the FY 2014 level of $41.7 million for FY 2015 and FY 2016||Restores $3.9 million for local health departments in FY 2016||Concurred with the House Action|
|Police Aid||Funding is being reduced to the FY 2014 level of $67.3 million for FY 2015 and 2016Department of Legislative Services (DLS) recommended an additional $25 million reduction||Police aid remains funded at $67.3 millionCommittee rejected the DLS recommendation||Concurred with the House Action|
|Disparity Grant||Funding is being reduced and capped at the FY 2014 level of $127.7 million||Program is funded at current law $129.8 million, restoring $2.1 million; Administration to offer amendment to clarify funding cap and how it affects the funding level for each jurisdiction||Funds the program at the level proposed in the Governor’s budget, $127.7 million and adopted language for each eligible county to receive the lesser amount of what that county received in FY 2014 or what it would receive under current in FY 2016|
|Program Open Space||Deletes a statutorily scheduled $50m repayment of Program Open Space funds diverted in past years, and redirecting some funding from the state transfer tax to the general fund, instead of POS and related programs statutorily receiving those funds||Transfers $12.8 million in Program Open Space funding to the General Fund in FY 2016; Transfers the unencumbered fund balance of $10.5 million to the General Fund in FY 2015; Delays the $50 million statutory repayment to FY 2019||Concurred with the House Action|
|Park Lands – Payment in Lieu of Taxes||Eliminates payments to counties from State Park revenues for FY 2015 and 2016||Modified reduction to $2.2 million restoring $235,000 for Garrett County||Modified the House action to make the $235,000 restoration contingent on the passage of SB 134 or HB 1091 and restores the entire payment in lieu of taxes amount, $2.4 million, if the legislation fails|
|Video lottery terminal local impact grants||Maintains $7.85 million (FY 2015 – $4,073,964 and FY 2016 – $3,887,697) that would otherwise be allocated as local impact grants within the Education Trust Fund||Rejected transfer of funds to the Education Trust Fund, keeping local impact grants intact||Concurred with the House Action|
|Local Income Tax Reserve Fund||Transfers $100 million from the local income tax reserve fund to the General Fund requiring the State to repay the transfer||Adopted transfer with State repayment of $10 million a year beginning in FY 2016||Concurred with the House Action|
|Freeze on Mandatory Spending||Caps funding increases for statutorily mandated programs beginning in FY 2017 to a percentage increase in General Fund revenues as determined by the Board of Public Works||Rejected language to permanently cap the growth in statutorily mandated funding formulas||Concurred with the House Action|