When Marylanders voted to legalize casinos 10 years ago, it was with the promise that the state’s share of the revenues would bolster school funding. Instead, that money replaced some state money going to schools, freeing up those general fund dollars for other purposes.
Gov. Larry Hogan wants to put those state gambling tax revenues into a “lockbox” to ensure that the money goes to schools and doesn’t supplant other state dollars, he announced at a press conference Wednesday.
He said his legislation would add $4.4 billion to school funding over 10 years, including $1 billion for school construction.
“Ensuring that this money is required to be used the way voters were promised it would be is long overdue,” he said.
Last month, legislative leaders also called for a lockbox for the same purpose. Their proposal would amend the state constitution and require voters to approve it in November. Hogan said this change can simply be legislated, and a referendum is unnecessary.