ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) – Showdown in Annapolis. Lawmakers and educators butt heads with Governor Hogan.
Political reporter Pat Warren has the latest on this developing feud.
This may be the biggest policy disagreement between the governor and the General Assembly this year.
It’s the $68 million question… Who’s in charge here?
“The money is there, the governor just has to have the political will to appropriate it,” said House Speaker Mike Busch.
It costs more to educate kids in some areas of the state than others. At issue is $68 million the General Assembly intended to help schools in 13 counties with those higher costs of education—most of it in Baltimore City, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.
This could go one of two ways: either the governor spends the money there, or lets it go back to the general fund to offset the state deficit.
Governor Hogan has said he’s not likely to spend it.
“Well certainly, in the budgetary process, the governor certainly understands that he can afford it,” said Michael Busch.
And to back that up, the General Assembly passed a bill forcing him to pay up–a lay-up for a veto and an override.
Ray Leone is Maryland PTA president.
“We took the time as a state to come together and fund it properly,” said Leone.
“And for the life of me, I don’t understand why any governor that has the ability to appropriate the money for K-12 education would not do that,” said Busch.
“We’re going to have to take a look at the structural problems that it caused, look at the shortfalls and see how much money we have to spend on what,” the governor said.
“I think he should stand his ground. That’s the reason he was elected. He should stick to what he said,” said Sandra O’Shea.
“I agree. He should stand his ground. That’s why we elected him,” said Nichole Reuvis.
And there’s still a lot of ground to cover.
In a statement, the governor’s office says there’s already an additional $109 million in the budget for school children and $290 million for school construction.
The governor’s office says Hogan is committed to seeing every child has access to a quality education.