Board Bumps Up Revenue Projections $130 Million for FY 20

Panel cautions that small uptick is not indicative of long-term economic growth. The Board of Revenue Estimates (BRE) today unanimously to increase the FY 2020 revenue projections for the State of Maryland by $130 million. The Board also set the first official revenue projections for FY 2021 at $19.1 billion – a 1.9% increase over the current estimate for FY 20 revenues. The three-member panel, which includes Comptroller Peter Franchot, State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, and Secretary…

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Kirwan Formula Workgroup: Brief Updates, But No Public Progress on Costs, Formulas

The Formula Funding workgroup meeting for September 19 was shortened to only 90 minutes, and ended with a contested decision to enter closed-door "executive session." With only two meetings left on its public calendar, the Formula Funding Workgroup constituted beneath the full Kirwan Commission, was expected to develop and discuss substantive policy options at its September 18th meeting. That expectation was reframed by a schedule change (the day before) - where the public workgroup meeting…

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October 22 Policy Forum on Electric Smoking Devices, Tobacco Taxes

The American Cancer Society is sponsoring an open policy forum event to discuss "vaping" and tobacco taxation - October 22 at the Anne Arundel Medical Center, Doordan Institute. You are invited to join the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network for their annual Maryland Policy Forum, a premiere event that brings together more than a hundred leaders from the business, education, government and research communities. The 2019 event will highlight raising awareness to the toll of…

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Coalition Asks Congress to Repeal Rescission of $7.6B in Federal Highway Aid

A broad coalition of national associations—including the National Association of Counties (NACo) and National Governors Association (NGA)— is calling on congressional leaders to repeal the rescission of $7.6 billion in federal-aid highway contract authority scheduled to occur in July 2020. All 50 states and the District of Columbia would be impacted by the rescission. A rescission is legislation enacted by Congress that cancels the availability of budget authority (e.g., contract authority) before that authority would…

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Kirwan Formula Workgroup: Progress Toward New Foundation Amount

The Formula funding workgroup's latest meeting included a preliminary adoption of a new "foundation" funding amount per student, but fell short of advancing any of the  remaining central (and weighty) issues of cross-jurisdictional effects and the state/local cost split. In a meeting whose schedule was abridged significantly one day in advance, the school funding workgroup impaneled under the Kirwan Commission made some distinct progress toward a re-visioning of the state's foundation funding program. Their preliminary…

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DLS Podcast: August Bond Sale

In the latest installment of the Department of Legislative Services' (DLS) podcast, Matthew Bennett and Patrick Frank discuss last month's sale of $550 million in State General Obligation Bonds. http://dls.maryland.gov/pubs/prod/NoPblTabPodcasts/August-2019-Bond-Sale.mp4 The nationally-regarded Department of Legislative Services staff explains a little-understood but important part of government finance, including: Why does the state government borrow money, through bonds, to pay for capital projects? What does the state’s Triple-A bond rating mean for taxpayers? How does the state…

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State Revenues Exceed Expectations, But Economic Uncertainty Looms
Courtesy of Andrew Schaufele, Director, Bureau of Revenue Estimates
State Revenues Exceed Expectations, But Economic Uncertainty Looms

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced that revenues FY 2019 came in $216.6 million above the Board of Revenue Estimates’ (BRE) projections, bringing the unassigned balance of the State’s General Fund to $351 million, or less than one percent of the total FY 19 operating budget of $44.6 billion. General Fund (GF) revenues in FY 2019 totaled $18.199 billion, an increase of 4.8% over FY 2018, and 1.2% above the BRE's estimate. Excluding irregular distributions…

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