Kirwan Blueprint Follow-Up Bill Filed, Expect A Fast Track

An “emergency bill” has been filed, to correct citations and timing issues with the recently enacted “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future” school plan. HB 1372/SB 965 should receive rapid attention, as delays caused by the veto/override of last year’s Kirwan bill has left multiple matters unclear.

HB 1372 / SB 965 has been introduced by the Speaker and President to remedy technical and substantive matters with the broad “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future” legislation passed in 2020, but only enacted by a veto override this year.

The bill’s full text is available online.

One element that counties have awaited is the State requirements for county funding for FY 2022 and FY 2023 – in two specific respects:

First – the bill delays multiple provisions related to funding, including the county funding requirements. So, any effects projected for FY 2022 in the bill as passed last year would be postponed until FY 2023.

Second – the bill also includes a remedy for certain one-time funding matters brought about by both the bill’s delay and the decline in school enrollment from September 2020, affecting funding for FY 2022. The bill proposes to overlook the peculiar funding circumstances of FY 2022 in applying the State’s “Maintenance of Effort” laws for FY 2023, to avoid an unwarranted spike in required funding as enrollment returns to normal levels.

The language for that element of the bill is included on page 13 of the bill, but excerpted below:

The bill is filed as “emergency legislation,” meaning it requires a three-fifths vote in each chamber to pass, but becomes effective immediately upon its final enactment.

For more background and context, see previous Conduit Street coverage: DLS On Education Aid: MOE Fix Needed, Kirwan Follow-up Coming

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties