Friday, December 13, 2013 12:18 PM
Published on: Thursday, March 21, 2013
By Donna Broadway
ANNAPOLIS - With the 2013 general session ending April 9, Governor O’Malley’s fy204 operating the budget passed quickly and quietly with amendments decreasing the budget from the proposed $37.3 billion to $36.8 billion. The budget is a $1.5 billion increase over fy2013 operating budget.
“This is a good budget and it’s the most balanced budget we’ve seen recently. We have enhanced funding to programs and are increasing fund bills,” said Senator Roger Manno (D-19)
Montgomery County specific funding $7 billion dollars for Medicare, three percent cost of adjustment living for state employees and a merit raise, nearly three million for independent living houses throughout the county, nearly five million for renovations to the Germantown Bioscience Education Center and the Montgomery Rockville Science West Building Renovation, $66,000 for Griffith Park playground improvements, $100,000 for Sandy Spring Odd Fellows Lodge Renovation, over 20 million for school construction for 24 county schools, and a $1.3 million grant to Holy Cross Hospital, as well as a $1.1 billion rainy day fund.
The budget increase relies on a projected economic growth of four percent and revenue from an income tax increase on residents earning $100,000 or higher. Montgomery County is the wealthiest county in Maryland with an average household income of over $110,000.
The transportation bill is currently in limbo. The passage of the $32 billion bill is largely dependent on the fate of the gas tax.
“There is increased money for the school, which is always a biggie for us, putting almost 6 billion wide so the money for the school system. There is also $300 million for school construction. The transportation money is up in the air until we see what happens to the gas tax, which is on the floor right now,” said Delegate Charles Barkley (D-39)
The House and Senate will meet in a conference committee and if approved, the budget will take effect on July 1