Governor Larry Hogan announced at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon that he plans to submit his budget tomorrow, in accordance with State law. He announced that the budget will include record funding for K-12 education, full funding for Program Open Space, and nearly $1 billion in cash reserves. He stressed that his budget includes no new taxes, cuts to services, or raiding of special funds – and is 100 percent structurally balanced.
He committed $230 million for local roads, which is about 8 percent greater than last year. His published statement provides that this includes $178.1 million in highway user revenue funds, and $53.7 million in capital grants to local jurisdictions. He also agreed to work the legislature to restore infrastructure funding for local governments.
Governor Hogan faulted the General Assembly for attempting to pass along $2.8 billion in new spending mandates last session. He pledged to once again submit legislation providing mandate relief.
Currently, 84 cents of every single dollar is mandated spending by the legislature.
He highlighted the following pecifics:
- $6.5 billion for K-12 education – more than required by the legislated formula
- An additional $140m in direct aid to schools
- $365 million in school construction
- $261 million for community colleges – 2 percent above last year
- Five jurisdictions will receive $15.2 million to ensure that their direct K-12 education formula aid grows by at least $100,000: Baltimore City ($11.1 million), Cecil ($3.4 million), Calvert ($540,610), Carroll ($99,799), and Garrett ($47,626).
- $10 million dedicated to increasing graduates in STEM-related fields
- $10 million for job creation tax credits
- $8 million Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Program
- additional $13 million to address the opioid crisis
- $55 million towards the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund
- $7 million to recruit state correctional officers
He reiterated his commitment to submit legislation to hold Maryland taxpayers harmless from the negative impacts of federal tax reform.