This post summarizes the status of the community college and library funding issues that MACo tracked during the 2016 General Assembly Session.
Community Colleges successfully resist collective bargaining mandate. HB 27 / SB 363 – Education – Community Colleges – Collective Bargaining would establish a uniform statewide collective bargaining process for community college employees. MACo joined the Maryland Association of Community Colleges in opposing this bill, stating that administrative costs and potential salary increases resulting from expanded collective bargaining could result in a potentially substantial unfunded mandate on county governments, or increases in student tuitions. For more information, see MACo’s testimony. FINAL STATUS: HB 27 passed out of the House but failed in the Senate. A summer study of this legislation and its potential fiscal effects is expected.
State funding for community colleges continues to lag. HB 361 / SB 339 – Higher Education – Community Colleges – Funding would have increased state funding for community colleges beginning in 2018. MACo has consistently advocated for full funding of the State’s community college funding formula, also called the Cade formula. This bill would have required the state’s Cade funding formula to reach its full statutory requirement in fiscal 2020. The state’s funding was reduced below statutory levels during the recession and has not yet returned. For more information, see MACo’s testimony. FINAL STATUS: Neither of these bills advanced this year.
Libraries will see expedited increase in state funding. HB 144 / SB 337 – Libraries – Regional, State, and County – Funding provides additional funding for county libraries by accelerating increases to the library funding formula. Maryland’s counties share funding responsibility with the State for our libraries and support the aim of quickly increasing funding that was reduced during the recession. An acceleration in State funding would help libraries to continue to offer community services that are key to our full economic recovery. For more information, see MACo’s testimony. FINAL STATUS: SB 337 was returned passed.