Governor Larry Hogan recently released his Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget, which funds Marylanders’ top priorities, including crime, education, transportation and the environment.
“We are very proud of this FY 2021 budget, which funds all the state’s top priorities while maintaining $1.3 billion in reserves and limiting budget growth to 1% without raising taxes, without cutting services, and without raiding dedicated special funds, which had become a common practice in years past,” Hogan said. “I look forward to working together with the House and the Senate in a bipartisan and collaborative fashion, and I’m eager for them to begin their role in the budget process.”
The full budget is available online.
On January 15, Hogan hosted lawmakers from both sides of the aisle for a fiscal summit breakfast at Government House to present the details of his budget, which has been formally submitted to the General Assembly.
Addressing Violent Crime
- In FY21, police aid to local governments is funded at $74.5 million and local law enforcement grants are funded at $38.7 million. Another $1.9 million is provided for the Violence Intervention and Prevention Program.
- In the second year of the governor’s Baltimore City Crime Prevention Initiative, the FY21 budget includes $6.9 million for grants that support crime prevention, prosecution, and witness protection and $2.7 million for the Baltimore Regional Intelligence Center.
- The FY21 budget includes nearly $2.6 million for 25 new prosecutors and support staff for the attorney general to prosecute violent crime.
- The budget maintains $3 million to fund initiatives to recruit and retain police officers at the local level.
- The FY21 budget includes nearly $272 million for community and residential operations to provide direct care services to youth under the Department of Juvenile Services’ supervision.
- In FY21, $9.1 million is included for the replacement of new police vehicles and equipment.
- The FY21 budget includes $250 million in funding to support the second year of the “Hogan Lockbox” to ensure that Video Lottery Terminal revenue supplements education funding.
- Since FY 2015, per pupil funding for K-12 education has grown from $7,273 to $8,157 (an increase of 12%).
- Nearly $94 million to support the expansion of pre-kindergarten.
- The governor has also committed more than $30 million above current law over two years to fund Concentration of Poverty Grants to provide full-time coverage of health care practitioners and community school coordinators.
- The FY21 budget again caps in-state resident tuition growth at 2% at the University System of Maryland, Morgan State University, and St. Mary’s College.
Assisting Vulnerable Marylanders
- The State Reinsurance Program has helped lower premiums in the individual market by 23.5% over the last two years.
- More than $29 million is provided to expand treatment access for all individuals with the Hepatitis C virus.
- Recipients of temporary cash and disability assistance programs will see monthly benefit increases of 2.5% and 17%, respectively.
- $4.6 million goes toward food supplement benefits for more than 28,000 senior households.
Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Programs
- Funding for Medicaid mental health treatment services has increased by $283 million (or 35%) under the Hogan administration.
- Residential treatment services for substance abuse has increased $57.5 million (or 500%) since FY 2016.
- Fourth installment of $10 million for the Opioid Operational Command Center.
Preserving Maryland’s Natural Resources and Environment
- The FY21 budget fully funds all transfer tax programs, including Program Open Space, and it also includes $43.9 million to continue the repayments of past transfers.
- Programs supported by the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust Fund are fully funded — increasing nearly 7% over FY 2020 funding.
- Additional funding and positions are provided to support agricultural conservation practices to help Maryland farmers implement the Phosphorous Management Tool and meet Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan goals.
- Funding is included to extend and expand the state’s tax credit for zero-emissions vehicles.
- Funding for the Comprehensive Flood Management Program is reestablished at $6 million in FY21.
Maryland’s Transportation Infrastructure
- In FY21, the State Highway Administration budget includes more than $340 million in key safety and traffic congestion relief projects.
- The governor’s transit budget includes almost $1.4 billion in operating funding and more than $941 million in capital funding.
- Transit operating funds have increased by more than 32% since FY 2015, while capital transit funds have increased by almost 60%.
- Funded capital improvements to Howard Street Tunnel to increase business at the Port of Baltimore and create thousands of jobs.
- Funded construction of the Purple Line, which has spurred development and jobs in the region.
- Committed $167 million in additional funding to WMATA’s capital program for the second consecutive year.
- Restored funding for local jurisdiction transportation needs.
Strong Financial Stewardship
- The FY21 general fund budget grows by only 1%, while total fund budget growth amounts to only 1.5%.
- The governor’s budget exceeds the legislature’s guidelines by leaving a Rainy Day Fund balance of 6.25% of revenues and a cash surplus greater than $100 million.
- For the fifth year in a row, the budget proposal includes a pension payment that is $75 million more than is actuarially required.
- The FY21 budget does not include any tax or fee increases.
- Governor Hogan, as part of the FY21 budget, will introduce legislation to reduce the tax burden on Marylanders by expanding the Hometown Heroes tax credit, increasing the military retirement income exemption, and creating a new income exclusion for all retirees.