Last Wednesday, Governor O’Malley released his $39.2 billion FY 2015 operating budget, a 5 percent increase over last year’s budget. The Governor has increased funding in the 2014 Budget for the University System of Maryland by $104 million; however he reduced funding to the community colleges by $4.6 million, and to independent higher education by $3.9 million. He is also again this year making further investments in business development through increases to the biotechnology tax credit ($2 million increase), research and development tax credit ($1 million increase), cybersecurity tax credit ($1 million increase), and the film tax credit ($3.5 million increase). The Governor’s operating budget includes no tax or fee increases and has $174 million in reductions to the structural deficit. The Governor’s proposed budget provides a surplus of $228 million and increases the Rainy Day Fund to 5 percent ($800 million).
Through the Governor’s Capital budget of $1.54 billion, he has again made significant investments in education and health care to spur job creation and leverage private investment. On education, the capital budget includes $275 million for school construction, $275.2 million for the University System of Maryland, $65.4 million for community colleges, and $4 million for independent colleges. Investments in health care include $30 million to the Prince Georges Hospital Center and investments for various hospital projects around the State.
The legislature began its review of the operating and capital budget this week. The Maryland Chamber will continue to monitor the progress throughout session and keep you up to date.