MD officials' boycott delays $113M in school construction funding
- Two of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's cabinet members boycotted a meeting of a state school construction committee last week, an action which will result in a delay in the delivery of $113 million designated for state school construction projects, according to The Baltimore Sun.
- Hogan told two officials to skip the Interagency Committee on School Construction meeting in what some have characterized as payback for disputes regarding the decision-making process for school construction funds. Without those officials, the ICSC did not have a quorum and could not make any legal decisions, such as the finalization of funding.
- The delay could throw off the timing of some school construction, which would have coincided with the summer break.
This is the latest dispute regarding construction-related funding in Maryland. Last year, the state legislature passed a measure that requires Hogan and his administration to score proposed publicly funded projects on a certain set of criteria prior to their approval. Hogan vetoed the bill when it came before him for signature, but the House overrode his veto.
Hogan has said he will work to repeal the law this year, calling it the "road kill" bill. He said the measure would necessitate the cancelation of upcoming road projects, an assertion state legislators said is not true, as the system does not put any responsibility on Hogan to cancel a project or turn it down just because of the score.
Baltimore launched a $1.1 billion school construction and renovation initiative last year backed by revenue bonds. The Maryland Stadium Authority has supervisory responsibilities for the program and will oversee the construction for seven school projects scheduled to begin this year. All together, the program will fund 28 new or renovated schools.
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