Dueling Budgets: Senate Plan Reels In Kirwan Spending

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee yesterday voted unanimously on a $46-billion-plus budget proposal that limits appropriations for the recommendations of the [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education to current state revenues.

The Senate plan dedicates $225 million in FY 2020 to begin implementing the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission, far less than the $320 million the House approved in its budget plan. The Senate budget allocates an additional $345 million to the Kirwan recommendations in FY 2021.

According to Maryland Matters:

As members of the Senate committee were voting, they received a letter from Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) and Budget Secretary David Brinkley expressing concerns about the cost of the Kirwan recommendations.

“I don’t think there’s a member on this committee that wouldn’t like to fully fund every single possible thing for Kirwan this year, that’s really what we’d like to do,” Budget and Taxation Chair Nancy J. King (D-Montgomery) said, noting Hogan’s concerns. “…We’ve got to be able to pay for it responsibly. So I really think this is a good move for our committee to make.”

The letters from Hogan and Brinkley reached a combined six pages in length, expressing concerns.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

Previous Conduit Street Coverage

The Maryland House of Delegates today gave final approval to HB 100, the Budget Billand HB 1407, the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2019 (“BRFA”). The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee will finalize its budget recommendations this week.

Overall, the House budget increases state aid to local governments by $612.9 million (7.1%), most of which is in the form of state aid to education/libraries, which increases by $564.1 million (7.4%).

House Budget Documents

House Appropriations Committee Report on HB 100 – the Budget Bill and HB 1407 – the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (“BRFA”)

2019 – House Appropriations Committee Reprint of HB 100 – (Budget Bill FY2020

2019 – House Appropriations Committee Reprint of HB 1407 – Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2019 (“BRFA”)

Notable House Budget Decisions

  • Fully funds the Governor’s formula-driven fiscal 2020 allocation of $146,172,853 for the Disparity Grant Program
  • Fully funds the Governor’s formula-driven increase for aid to local health departments by $2.7 million (5.1%)
  • $320.5 million to begin implementing the recommendations of the [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education
  • $500 million for school construction
  • $46 million toward salary increases for state employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement
  • Cuts funding for the Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program, which provides a limited amount of scholarships for low-income students to attend private schools
  • Alters the cap on projected nonwithholding income tax revenues that must be withheld under certain circumstances from general fund revenue estimates from 0.5% to 0.25% in fiscal 2020

The House budget maintains a fund balance of $120.1 million and does not propose any tax or fee increases.

Any differences between the House and Senate budget proposals will be worked out via a conference committee.

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.

Useful Links

Maryland Matters: Senate Committee Cuts Funding for Kirwan Recommendations, Chancellor’s Office

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: House Budget Proposal Keeps Disparity Grant Funding Intact

Previous Conduit Street Coverage: Hogan 2020 Budget Proposal: Targeted New Commitments, No Local Shifts

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