ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Taking the pressure. Governor Hogan says he won’t be swayed by lawmakers and educators urging him to give additional money to districts where it costs more to operate schools.
Political reporter Pat Warren has the latest from the governor.
Digging in. Governor Hogan says he won’t back down from his plan to see if granting more money to schools with higher operating costs puts Maryland in a hole.
“We’re trying to solve the problems. We came down here to put Maryland on a more fiscally responsible path,” the governor said.
Despite assurances from the Democratic leadership that the state can afford $68 million for higher costs of education, Governor Hogan isn’t convinced.
Hogan says the budget already provides an additional $109 million for students and more than $290 million for school construction.
The governor says the General Assembly is moving money around, robbed the teachers’ pension fund, and still leaves the state with a $1.7 billion deficit.
“The budget they came back with is out of whack in a really bad way,” Governor Hogan said.
House Speaker Michael Busch dismissed that notion.
“The money is there, the governor just has to have the political will to appropriate it,” said Busch.
Warren: “Just yesterday, the speaker said the money is there, use it.”
Gov. Hogan: “Well, the money is there that they robbed from the teachers’ pension fund, which we don’t think was a good idea and neither do most people in the state, and they did it by creating a huge shortfall for next year.”
Speaker Busch says Maryland’s children should be the state’s highest priority.
“The question for the governor is he’s going to be held accountable for whether he fully funds education or not,” Busch said.
And his answer is:
“While we’re trying to do everything we can to fully fund education, we also have to be concerned about the economic vitality of the state and whether or not we can stay afloat and pay the bills,” said Gov. Hogan.
The governor is still deciding, but for some, not fast enough.
The additional funding applies to 13 of the state jurisdictions, with the lion share going to Baltimore City, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.