The Good News: Maryland Spared Massive Federal Shutdown

While you were presumably sleeping, the federal government partially shut down. Then, just before dawn, the House voted through a two-year spending plan – preventing a more extended shutdown. But, the deal leaves Dreamers in the dark and infrastructure and the opioid crisis with drops in their proverbial buckets. Governing reports on what this means for states and counties.

The agreement only includes $20 billion for infrastructure – and that mostly funds existing programs. Water, energy, broadband expansion and improved surface transportation will all share these funds. In addition, it only includes $6 billion  to address the opioid crisis.

The agreement increases federal spending by $300 billion over two years. Congress has six weeks now to incorporate the additional funds into a spending plan. This could be good or bad for Maryland:

This all means that some states could benefit or take a massive hit financially, depending on how closely appropriators align themselves with the administration. For example, in Maryland, Trump has called for Congress to eliminate money for the Chesapeake Bay, a pair of high-tech biodefense laboratories in the state and several programs at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Despite House Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s best efforts otherwise, the agreement does not address how to handle the Dreamers.

It does provide:

  • nearly $90 billion in disaster relief, with about ten percent of that going to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands;
  • long-term funding for health care programs including the Community Health Center Fund and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP);
  • $6 billion for mental health and programs addressing the opioid crisis
  • $20 billion for infrastructure

Read more here.