At today’s Board of Public Works meeting, Governor Larry Hogan announced that he is introducing emergency legislation that will grant him the authority to transfer resources from the state’s rainy day fund to pay for costs associated with Maryland’s response to the novel coronavirus.
State law authorizes the Governor to transfer funds from the Revenue Stabilization Account (rainy day fund) to the general fund “as necessary to support the operation of State government on a temporary basis,” so long as the General Assembly approves the transfer, and it does not cause the account balance to drop below 5.0 percent of the estimated general fund revenues for that fiscal year.
“We are submitting emergency legislation which will allow us to transfer any necessary resources from the rainy day fund for costs associated with the state’s coronavirus response,” Governor Hogan said. “Given the rapidly evolving nature of this threat to public health, it is critical that we have the flexibility to immediately access these resources. I want to continue to assure Marylanders that our state is taking every precaution when it comes to the coronavirus.”
The emergency legislation allows the governor to transfer up to $50 million from the Revenue Stabilization Account to fund costs associated with the novel coronavirus.
Later this week, Governor Hogan will submit a $10 million emergency appropriation request as part of a supplemental budget. This request will be based on the Maryland Department of Health’s (MDH) contingency planning.
At this time, Maryland has no confirmed cases of coronavirus. On Tuesday, Governor Hogan announced that Maryland’s State Public Health Laboratory has been approved for testing for coronavirus, and detailed the additional steps the state is taking as part of its coordinated response.
Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.