Governor’s Budget Proposal and State of the State Address in Maryland
Following his inauguration, the governor released his Balance Today, Balance Tomorrow budget proposal for 2015-16, which would eliminate structural deficits in the state budget in the coming fiscal year. General funds would increase 1.9 percent to $16.4 billion.
State institutions of higher education would receive $1.4 billion, up 4.6 percent; formula funding support for community colleges would increase 2.3 percent to $248.4 million; support for community college employee benefits would decline 1.6 percent to $58.9 million. Support for nonpublic colleges would increase 7.8 percent to $47.9 million. State general fund aid for elementary and secondary education would increase 0.6 percent to over $5.9 billion.
In his State of the State address, the governor outlined his priorities to increase education spending; eliminate the stormwater remediation fee and income taxes on retired individuals; reduce the personal property tax on small businesses; end automatic motor fuel tax rate increases; and provide tax credits to individuals for contributions to private schools. The governor subsequently released the Public Charter School Expansion and Improvement Act of 2015, a proposal to reform state laws governing the creation and oversight of charter schools and to increase the number of charter schools.