ANNAPOLIS | Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday he will submit a budget that calls for $17.1 billion in spending that prioritizes education and transportation and foresees a $445 million surplus in fiscal year 2017.
Mr. Hogan also vowed to bring some order to a budget process that has been chaotic in recent years, promising to fulfill all requests mandated by the legislature, but saying in exchange for a single unified bill, the legislature will have to give up some of its powers to tinker with how he distributes the money.
“Our administration has said repeatedly that we would bring fiscal restraint back to Annapolis, hold the line on spending, and increase funding for top priorities like education and infrastructure. This year’s budget accomplishes all those things,” Mr. Hogan said. “I hope that it will set the stage for bipartisanship, cooperation, and continued fiscal responsibility.”
His plan, which he will introduce in full later this month, includes a Rainy Day Fund of $1.1 billion and $6.3 billion spent on elementary and secondary schools.
Mandates, such as minimum funding for education and health care, have been a source of contention in previous budget negotiations. Mr. Hogan said 83 percent of the money in the budget already is tied up in those mandates, leaving him only 17 percent to close deficits, fund his own priorities and cut spending.
The first-term Republican governor is asking the General Assembly to repeal or rewrite many of the mandates, giving him more flexibility and taking power away from the Democrat-controlled legislature.