Several projects and programs are on hold as a result of differences between the General Assembly’s final budget plan and the Governor’s budget as introduced.
In March, the President of the Maryland Association of Counties wrote to the Governor, asking him to release $80 million in budget funding that includes a few projects of particular county concern.
Now Mike Dresser of the Baltimore Sun has written an article featuring several possible effects of a failure to release the funding, including issues for school systems expecting small but helpful grant funding from the $6.1 million aging schools program.
MACo’s letter to the Governor highlighted the need for the aging schools program funding and interoperable radio system funding included in the fenced-off funds.
As described in the Baltimore Sun, the Governor must decide whether to release to $80 million as a whole, he may not pick project-by-project. Dresser writes,
To complicate the governor’s decision, the lawmakers put in that basket a mixture of his favored programs and their own.
If he says no, Hogan would deny funding for several of his priorities, including aging schools, a statewide public safety communications system and demolition of part of the Baltimore City Detention Center that Hogan closed.
To free the money, Hogan would have to allow spending on legislative priorities such as helping local school systems with the cost of employee pensions and improving compensation rates for physicians in the Medicaid program.
For more information, see the full story from the Baltimore Sun, Programs in limbo as Hogan weighs releasing money lawmakers ‘fenced off’.