Tuesday, Governor Larry Hogan announced that his Fiscal Year 2023 budget will include historic investments in public health, including record funding for the state’s local health departments.
The budget will also expand support for 50,000 low-income children and 27,000 seniors in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), while providing additional resources for food banks and nonprofits.
“Our budget will make record investments in the local health departments on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Hogan. “We are also providing critical relief to support underserved Marylanders and people in need, especially our seniors on fixed incomes and children in low-income families” (Governor’s press release).
According to the Governor’s press release, the FY23 budget will include:
Record Funding For Local Health Departments. The governor’s budget will commit a record $75 million to local health departments as they continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the state will provide $9.4 million to help local health departments overcome pandemic-related funding shortfalls. Overall, the Hogan administration has increased funding for local health departments by 62%.
Additional Provider Rate Increases. The governor’s budget will commit more than $187 million to fund provider rate increases in the fields of behavioral health, developmental disabilities, Medicaid, and other services. Every budget under the Hogan administration has increased rates paid to developmental disabilities and behavioral health community service providers.
Expansion of Summer SNAP For Children. The governor’s budget will commit $1.96 billion in SNAP benefits for more than 390,000 households. An additional $4.8 million is being provided to expand the summer SNAP program—24 times above the mandated level—to provide nutritional benefits for 50,000 children in low-income families during the months they are out of school.
Enhanced SNAP Benefits For Seniors. The governor’s budget will commit an additional $6.6 million to increase the minimum monthly food supplement benefit for households with seniors by 33%, providing enhanced benefits for 27,000 seniors. An additional $3 million is provided to support local agencies in connecting eligible seniors to programs and services. The state will commit $17.8 million to reduce waitlists for home health care programs, including $10.3 million for senior care; $5.3 million for the Senior Assisted Living Subsidy; and $2.2 million for the Congregate Housing Services Program.
$10 Million For Food Banks. As demand for food banks remains high, the governor’s budget will commit $10 million to support local food banks, including the Maryland Food Bank, Capital Area Food Bank, Food and Friends, and Moveable Feast. The state has prioritized food banks for relief throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providing $17.5 million in federal funds dating back to March 2020.
New Maryland Nonprofit Accelerator Program. The governor’s budget will commit $5 million to launch the Nonprofit Business Accelerator Program, which will help organizations across the state develop more back-office capacity to get off the ground administratively, operate more efficiently, and leverage additional resources. This program will be administered by Maryland Nonprofits.