The Governor’s FY 2019 Capital Budget includes $32,240,000 for the public safety communications system.
As described in Governor Hogan’s 2019 Capital Budget, his allocation of funds to the Department of Information Technology include $10,500,000 to continue construction of a statewide unified public safety radio communications system, and $21,740,000 to complete construction of a statewide unified public radio system.
MACo has advocated for continued funding for the MD FiRST program in the past. The system is critical for several Maryland counties that use it on a daily basis as their primary public safety radio network. It will also be essential for all counties statewide to communicate with each other, the state, and regional and federal partners during response to regional emergencies.
Prior coverage: MACo Asks Governor To Fully Fund Lingering Budget Items (2016)
The Capital Budget Process
The General Assembly may add or subtract funding from the capital budget. The General Assembly may not take final action on the capital budget until they have passed the operating budget. Following the General Assembly’s passage of the capital budget, the capital budget bill must be signed by the Governor and is subject to the Governor’s line-item veto power.
As described by the Department of Legislative Services:
Unlike the operating budget, in acting on the capital budget bill, the legislature
may amend the budget to add and delete projects from the capital bond program. The legislature may also increase project funding and add contingent, conditional, or restrictive language to the bill regarding how the funds may be applied.