MACo Supports Niche Program to Help Counties Repair Aging Schools

MACo Policy Associate, Kevin Kinnally, submitted written testimony in support of House Bill 153 and Senate Bill 197 “Creation of a State Debt – Qualified Zone Academy Bonds”, which would issue $4.8M to the Interagency Committee on School Construction (IAC) and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

MACo has supported and will continue to support additional funding for schools.

From MACo’s testimony:

The money would be used for certain development or improvement purposes including the renovation, repair, and capital improvements of qualified schools in accordance with criteria established under the Aging Schools Program. The IAC would award the money through competitively-awarded grants and MSDE would provide targeted grants to eligible schools under the Breakthrough Center Program.

These programs fill an important niche by covering projects that would not normally qualify as true capital projects eligible for general obligation bond (GO) funding. Counties, who share responsibility with the State for Maryland’s schools, appreciate financial support for their infrastructure goals.

The hearing for HB 153 was on February 28, 2017. The cross-file to the bill, SB 197, was heard by the Senate Budget & Taxation committee on March 1.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 legislative session here.