Governor Larry Hogan yesterday introduced a supplemental budget proposal for FY 2020. The proposal bolsters the state’s general fund balance by including new estimated cost savings within the Medicaid program, provides increased funding for state and local initiatives, and includes a $3 million bump in state education funding to account for new wealth and enrollment figures.
According to a press release:
The largest savings are realized in Medicaid, as the state is now forecasting nearly $35 million more in savings across Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020 than when the budget was submitted in January.
The FY 2020 supplemental budget also includes $1.5 million in funding to enable Maryland’s dairy farmers to participate in the Federal Dairy Margin Coverage Program, allowing them to leverage up to $17 million in federal funds.
The University of Maryland will see a nearly $2.8 million increase that will go toward attracting and retaining top talent at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, operating costs at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center, to establish National Registry testing centers at Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute’s training regions to increase student access to emergency medical services certification, and to implement programs and initiatives to improve educational outcomes, promote civic engagement, and raise awareness around mental health and wellness among vulnerable populations at the Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. Center for Education, Justice and Ethics.
Also included is $250,000 in the current fiscal year for a public alert system in Ellicott City, $243,000 to expand cold-weather shelter services for individuals experiencing homelessness in Charles County, and $110,500 to support inspection, compliance, and enforcement activities related to the federal Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule.
Although customarily accepted, supplemental budgets may only be attached to the budget by consent of the legislature.
As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) presented a set of “Additional Reduction Recommendations” to the House Appropriations Committee on February 26, detailing a range of possible accommodations that may be required to absorb a meaningful write-down in revenues in early March.
In the report, DLS offered a long series of potential decisions to either reduce spending or transfer funds. The list totals nearly $500 million in items for FY 2020 (fewer affecting the current year, FY 2019), essentially offering a “menu” for legislative consideration. The range of an expected write-down of revenues may be as much as $350 million, but remains unknown until the State’s Board of Revenue Estimates meets on March 7.