Up the Street
The week that was in Annapolis
FY14 Fiscal Briefing
Highlights of Governor
O’Malley’s FY14 budget were included in last week’s Up the Street
this week more details were unveiled during the fiscal
provided to the House Appropriations and Senate Budget and Tax
Committees. Some important notes learned during the briefing:
proposed budget is balanced for FY14 and reduces the state’s structural deficit
to $155 million (down from $2 billion three years ago). The budget
includes a cash balance of $236 million and rainy day/general fund balance of
$1.1 billion. The combination of the FY14 cash balance and overall rainy
day fund will help insulate Maryland from potential across the board cuts in
federal spending from Washington, D.C.
general fund revenues collected so far in FY13 is 7.4% greater than projected
and generated $410 million that has helped close the structural deficit.
revenues in FY13 held the state with supplemental spending on items that were
not budgeted, including some education costs. School assessment contracts
($17.3 m) and federal grants for assessment and data analysis ($3.9 m) were the
biggest education line items covered with deficiency appropriations in FY13.
FY14 projection for available dollars from the Education Trust Fund (ETF) is
$340.3 million. The ETF is part of the $6 billion the state is spending
to increase state aid for education.
aid for local governments increased $294 million (4.4%) over FY13. All
jurisdictions, except for Garrett County, are set to receive more total state
aid dollars in FY14 than FY13.
Maryland Poll Findings
Gonzales Research and Marketing
Strategies released poll findings
relating to key issues facing the General Assembly and the political
environment in Maryland. Survey highlights include:
Obama: 64% (strongly or somewhat approve)
O’Malley: 54% (strongly or somewhat approve)
opinion on school safety
say stricter gun laws would do more to reduce violence in schools.
say having armed guards would do more to reduce violence in schools.
hot issues facing the 2013 General Assembly:
Transportation and Gas Tax
think it is important to maintain and improve Maryland’s transportation system.
only 26% favor a ten cents per gallon increase in Maryland’s gas tax.
Death Penalty Repeal
of voters favor the death penalty; 44% oppose the death penalty.
say that life in prison without the possibility of parole is an acceptable
Preventing Gun Violence
favor a law banning the sale of assault weapons.
favor a law requiring background checks on gun purchases at gun shows.
News and Notes
A group of labor and community
organizations have joined forces to encourage
the General Assembly to increase the state minimum wage from $7.25/hour to
$10/hour by 2015. The legislation has not yet been introduced, but is
expected to be sponsored by Senator Rob Garagiola and Delegate Aisha Braveboy
in their respective chambers.
Million to Address Net Taxable Income
The governor’s budget includes
$8 million to begin a five year phase-in to correct a wealth calculation used
in the distribution of state aid for education known as “Net Taxable Income
mirror the governor’s budget proposal to correct the problem of miscalculating
a county’s wealth because the measure is taken before the October 15th
income tax filing extension provided by the federal government. The
compromise fix of NTI will ensure that less wealthy counties receive their fair
share of education aid, while wealthier counties are held harmless in the
re-calculation of wealth. The net impact is an overall increase in state
aid in the Thornton education formula.
Legislative Priorities and Issue Papers
In advance of any lobby day
trips to Annapolis or conversations with legislators and their staff, please
review and share MSEA’s legislative materials:
Issue Paper -
Maryland’s Charter School Law
Issue Paper - Vouchers:Rejecting
the BOAST Bill, Vouchers, and Neo-Vouchers
the Legislative Process during the General Assembly Session
The General Assembly has
launched a new website to track specific bills, listen to floor debate, and get
up-to-the-minute updates. The site is http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/.
The Week Ahead
Budget hearings and bill hearing continued in the third
full week of the General Assembly session. Other events include:
here for the budget hearings on various aspects of the budget in the coming
- Wednesday, January 30: Bill hearings on various
tax rate and tax credit legislation before the Senate Budget and Taxation
- Thursday, January 31: Formal launch of the
Working Matters Coalition and the effort to pass earned sick day legislation
for all Maryland workers.