Maryland’s Political Discourse Pivots on Education

2016 begins with a back-and-forth between legislative leadership and the Governor over the education budget.

As reported in the Washington Post, the day before the opening of the 2016 General Assembly session, Maryland legislative leadership vowed to fight for schools and threatened to block Governor Hogan’s efforts to change spending rules if they would mean reduced funding for education.

As described in the article, Defiant Md. Democrats say they will fight for education and other priorities,

“Mandate relief is code word for cutting public education,” Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-Calvert) told a cheering crowd at the party’s annual legislative luncheon.

When asked, the Governor stated that education cuts are not coming in a special interview on opening day of the General Assembly. He said,

As far as cutting education, that’s not happening from our administration.

Regarding the reduction in mandated spending, The Governor’s Office website states,

Currently, mandated spending accounts for 83 percent of the operating budget, a major driver of unsustainable spending and debt. By FY 2021, the state will be required to spend $3 billion more per year than it does today.

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