President John Barr has sent a letter on MACo’s behalf to the Governor asking him to fully fund the budget passed by the General Assembly, including several local priorities funded through an allocation originally intended for the Rainy Day fund. John Barr is a member of the Washington County Board of Commissioners.
While most of the budget will become law with the General Assembly’s passage last week, there is one portion of the budget that requires the Governor’s further approval. That is a portion of the budget that was redirected from the Governor’s appropriation to the State’s “Rainy Day” Reserve Fund.
The Governor will have discretion whether to fund this portion of the budget, which now totals around $80 million. According to the budget language, the Governor may not choose to fund a few projects from this portion of the budget — it is an “all-or-none” decision.
MACo’s letter to the Governor states,
One of the modifications the General Assembly made was to apply a portion of the state reserve funds to certain projects. Your discretion will now determine the fate of those projects, and we appeal to you for your consideration. Several of these funding items are major priorities for local governments across the state:
County projects of interest in this section include $6.1 million for the Aging Schools Program, $19 million for teacher pension increases, and $9 million for public safety radios.
For more information, see our previous posts:
- The Balance Beam of Maryland’s Budget
- Calling for Back-up
- Aging School Funding Tacked to Budget Reserves
- $19 Million for Teacher Pension Increase