May 20, 2018
Politics & Opinion
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A Look At Governor Hogan’s Budget

Nic Kipke
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January 23, 2018

Governor Larry Hogan has once again delivered a balanced budget that does not depend on tricks or gimmicks, and most importantly, there are no tax increases!

The governor’s budget proposal is 100 percent structurally balanced, it provides record funding for K-12 education and it continues to deliver on the promises to grow Maryland’s private sector, put more people to work and turn our economy around. His budget reflects our state’s citizens and their values and concerns: education, public safety and economic opportunity.

Education, from kindergarten through college, is well funded in Governor Hogan’s budget proposal. He has provided an unprecedented $6.5 billion for K-12 education, an amount well above what is required by the General Assembly’s spending formulas. Anne Arundel County, along with every other jurisdiction in the state, will not only receive every dollar in education funding that they anticipated, but they will also realize an increased investment from the state.

In higher education, Governor Hogan has provided funding that will cap, at 2 percent, tuition increases at Maryland’s public four-year institutions. His budget invests $33 million for a multi-year collaborative effort with the University System of Maryland to produce more graduates in key workforce areas such as science, engineering and cybersecurity. In addition, community colleges across the state will be fully funded, with Governor Hogan investing $261 million — the most ever invested in community colleges!

Governor Hogan’s budget is not limited to funding schools but it also focuses on building and expanding them. Governor Hogan’s capital budget includes an investment of $365 million in school construction funding. This is the largest investment in school construction funding in a decade. In total, nearly three-quarters of Maryland’s capital budget is dedicated to education.

To continue to grow Maryland’s economy and educate our workforce, Governor Hogan’s budget includes $10 million for two new tax credits established under the More Jobs for Marylanders Act. The More Jobs for Marylanders Act incentivizes and encourages manufacturers to create jobs where they are needed most. The program has been very successful so far, and its expansion will continue to bring the jobs Marylanders need.

Anne Arundel County has been on the front lines of the battle against heroin and opioid abuse. Governor Hogan’s budget proposal dedicates an additional $13.7 million in combination with nearly $160 million for substance abuse treatment to continue to combat this epidemic. The budget also includes $74.5 million for police aid to local governments and municipalities.

Governor Hogan has also made important investments in our environment. He has provided nearly $53 million to fully fund the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund – this is the third straight year this trust fund will be fully funded. He has also put an end to the practice of taking dollars from Program Open Space, a program that helps fund community parks, playgrounds, trails, etc.

While Governor Hogan has proposed a balanced and thoughtful budget, the Democrat-controlled General Assembly has not lost its appetite for spending. Because of forced increases passed by the legislature each year, state spending continues to grow faster than our revenues. While the Democrats are salivating at the new revenues coming to Maryland as a result of the federal government’s tax reform package, Governor Hogan has made a commitment to make sure the money goes back into the pockets of the taxpayers. Governor Hogan’s budget proposal and his subsequent legislation to control forced spending increases will put dollars back in the pockets of Maryland’s citizens.

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