BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch have thrown their support behind a constitutional amendment that would funnel casino revenue into a “lockbox” to fund education.
As our media partners at The Baltimore Sun report, Maryland voters approved slot machines in 2008, and table games in 2012. At the time, lawmakers promised that revenue would go toward schools.
But school funding, beyond what is required by law, did not actually increase, according to The Sun. Instead, money that once went to schools was diverted to other budget items.
The constitutional amendment being proposed by Del. Maggie McIntosh and Sen. Joan Carter Conway, who both represent Baltimore, would require money from casinos to go toward spending that goes above the state’s funding formulas.
“It’s time to keep the faith with the people,” Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said this week while announcing his support for the measure. “It’s about promises that were made to the people.”
Casinos generated $451 million for the state’s Education Trust Fund in the fiscal year that ended last June 30.
The proposal would be phased in over four years, with a quarter of the money facing the new budget constraint each year.