When Governor Larry Hogan unveiled his budget proposal on Thursday, January 22 few could have predicted that within two months, a mere 45 business days, both the House of Delegates, in an overwhelming 129-10 vote, followed by a unanimous vote in the Senate, would approve a $40.7 billion state budget.
In their Thursday, March 26 vote, the Senate adopted many of the important changes the House made to the Hogan budget plan including: restoring most cuts to education formulas, a 2% cost-of-living increase to state workers, restored cuts to services for pregnant women in the Medicaid program and funding for reimbursements to doctors and retained funding for Maryland’s health exchange. The Senate did, however, make some amendments and the two chambers will convene a conference committee to work out these differences. It is expected that the level of bipartisan cooperation related to the budget will continue. Everyone seems to agree, putting Maryland on sound financial footing is the priority and voters expect to see leadership and bipartisan cooperation toward this goal.
As for the budget itself, generally speaking economic development programs continued to fare well. The Biotechnology, CyberSecurity, and Research and Development Tax Credits along with the Stem Cell Research Fund were all level funded or received very modest reductions continuing the drumbeat that “Maryland is Open for Business”. For more information on how the budget could impact Maryland’s business climate contact Mat Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.