Gov. Larry Hogan makes final budget pitch — not to overspend
Outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan, with about a month left of his term, is pitching Governor-elect Wes Moore on some priority items for the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Hogan cautioned Moore and the Democrat-led General Assembly against overspending, during a Thursday press conference.
The state is expected to enter the 2024 fiscal year with a record surplus of more than $2 billion and nearly $3 billion in the Rainy Day Fund. Keeping that money in savings is “critically important,” Hogan said, pointing to inflation levels and economic uncertainty.
“It would be a mistake for the legislature to use its newly expanded budgetary power to return to the old habits of raiding the Rainy Day Fund or recklessly spending down the surplus,” Hogan said.
Among his budgetary priorities, Hogan highlighted funding for non-public schools and the state’s school voucher program, state parks, rental housing and homeownership assistance programs.
He proposed $220 million to help healthcare institutions such as the University of Maryland Medical System, Meritus Health, Sheppard Pratt and the Kennedy Krieger Institute to expand capacity.
And he emphasized continued funding of his three-year, $500 million police funding initiative. The goal is to "help recruit and retain more quality officers, to increase diversity, expand community policing efforts, improve training, to teach better de-escalation techniques, and to provide body cams and other technology and equipment upgrades for state and local police.”
Moore can make changes to the proposed fiscal 2024 budget before sending it to the legislature next month. Then the legislature can make cuts and — for the first time — move money around.