Presiding Officers Announce Compromise With Governor on Funding Priorities

Senate and House leadership release information regarding a compromise on a lingering budget issue.

The Office of President Miller and Speaker Busch of the Maryland General Assembly provide the following press release:

PRESIDENT MILLER, SPEAKER BUSCH ANNOUNCE COMPROMISE WITH GOVERNOR ON FUNDING PRIORITIES

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. and House Speaker Michael E. Busch today announced an agreement with Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr. to approve both a conditional loan for Northrop Grumman as well as legislation in 2017 to provide additional funding to counties in Maryland for public schools.

“We are grateful and supportive of employers like Northrup Grumman and Marriott who have chosen to locate in our State providing good salaries and benefits for so many Marylanders,” said Senate President Miller. “At the same time, we must also hold strongly to our priority of supporting Maryland’s public schools, or we risk the very education pipeline that prepares our children for these jobs.  Even in tough times, I believe we must do both.”

Northrop Grumman requested State support to acquire a 300,000 square foot facility in Linthicum and maintain 10,000 employees in Maryland. The legislature has already approved legislation proposed by Governor Hogan for a $37.5 million tax credit during the 2016 legislative session. Under Maryland law, the release of the additional $20 million proposed by the Governor as a Sunny Day fund loan must be approved by the Legislative Policy Committee.

“This is a win-win for the State: we are moving forward with the Governor’s priority to give tax incentives to companies to invest in Maryland at the same time we are able to increase investment in our world class school system,” said Speaker Michael E. Busch. “I believe this is a great example of where everyone can work together – Republicans and Democrats alike – to not only assure Northrop Grumman that we are fully committed to their company investing in the State of Maryland and Anne Arundel County, while also investing in our students futures.”

Legislation will be introduced in the 2017 Session, to reduce local Teachers’ Pension System costs by $20 million in response to an unanticipated cost issue this year.  The State will fund the difference ensuring that funding is not taken out of public school classrooms and that the pension system remains secure. This funding was set aside during the 2016 legislative session but not ultimately released to the school systems.

Governor Hogan has indicated that he will support this legislation, when passed by the General Assembly during the 2017 legislative session.

The presiding officers also announced an intention to gather support for State funds that will be combined with financial support from Montgomery County to keep Marriott International located in Maryland.

The Legislative Policy Committee will meet on December 13, 2016 at 11:00AM in Annapolis.

For information on the pensions funding, see the Joint Chairmen’s Report.

For background, see these previous posts on Conduit Street:

$19 Million for Teacher Pension Increase

Moody’s: $80M Funding Denial Worrisome For County Creditworthiness

Aging Schools and Public Safety Radio Funding in Cross Hairs of State Budget Standoff

At MACo’s Winter Conference, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Maryland’s presiding officers, the Governor’s senior legislative advisor, and the Senate minority leader will speak as a panel looking ahead at the 2017 Maryland General Assembly Session. Read more about what they’ll discuss.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: