Highlights From Annapolis – October 2016

October 2016

Governor Larry Hogan Names New Chief of Staff
Governor Larry Hogan announced the appointment of Sam Malhotra as his new Chief of Staff, effective October 26. Malhotra will be replacing current Chief of Staff, Craig Williams, who has accepted a senior level position at Johns Hopkins. Malhotra currently serves as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources.

New Laws Take Effect
On October 1, many new laws that passed during the 2016 General Assembly session took effect. These laws will begin to implement criminal justice reform, require drug prescribers and providers to register for the prescription drug monitoring program, expand protections for equal pay and equal work, and require ignition interlock systems for impaired drivers, just to name a few. A MarylandReporter article lists several bills that took effect and summarizes others by policy area. Additional information can be found in a Washington Post article.  

Panel Recommends Holding Bond Authorizations to $995 Million for FY 2018
The State’s Capital Debt Affordability Committee (CDAC), chaired by Treasurer Nancy Kopp, approved a recommendation to hold the State’s bond authorization at $995 million for fiscal 2018, the same level as the current fiscal year. The vote to approve the recommendation was 4-1, with Treasurer Kopp voting against. In support of the recommendation, budget secretary David Brinkley raised the recent revenue write down and the Administration’s commitment to reduce spending. Treasurer Kopp expressed concern about growing infrastructure needs and that projects may be crowded out as more funding goes to transportation. The panel’s recommendation will be forwarded on to the Governor and General Assembly for their consideration.

State Revenues Expected to Drop $783 Million
Revenue projections recently released by the Board of Revenue Estimates (BRE) reduce state revenues by $783 million, $365 million in the current fiscal year and $418 million in fiscal year 2018. A statement by Comptroller Peter Franchot, chair of the BRE, indicates that the write-down is attributed to reduced revenue generated from individual income taxes, corporate income taxes and sales and use taxes. Additional information and reactions to the write-down can be found in MarylandReporter, the Baltimore Sun, and Washington Post.

Financing Arrangement Approved for Port Covington
The Baltimore City Council approved and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has signed legislation authorizing a $660 million financing arrangement to build infrastructure for the Port Covington development project. The Port Covington project is projected to create 26,500 permanent jobs and have a $4.3 billion annual economic impact. It will house an expanded headquarters for Under Armour, shops, restaurants, housing, offices and manufacturing space.

Strategic Alliance Announced to Support FBI Headquarters in Greenbelt
The presidents of University of Maryland, College Park and University of Maryland, Baltimore announced a strategic alliance to create the Maryland Academy for Innovation in National Security that would support a FBI headquarters in Greenbelt, Maryland. The Academy will be based on the College Park campus and focus on terrorism, cybersecurity, language study and law. Featured content on Center Maryland discusses the alliance and includes footage from the press conference.

New Members Appointed
Governor Larry Hogan has announced the appointment of Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark to the Maryland House of Delegates representing Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties in District 29C. Delegate Clark will replace former Delegate Anthony O’Donnell, who accepted an appointment by the governor to the Maryland Public Service Commission earlier this year.

Governor Larry Hogan has also announced the appointment of Katherine Bays Armstrong to serve as the newest member of the Maryland Transportation Authority.

Other Important Information and Websites
Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education – Meeting dates, meeting minutes, and other details can be found on the Commission website. Preliminary report is due December 31, 2016 and the final report is due December 31, 2017.

Commission to Modernize State Procurement – Meeting dates, meeting minutes, and other details can be found on the Commission website. The Commission’s final report with recommendations is due to the Governor by December 1, 2016.

21st Century School Facilities Commission – Meeting dates and agenda topics can be found on the Commission page of the General Assembly’s website.

To access press releases, executive orders, and other information from the Office of Governor Larry Hogan, visit the Governor’s website.

To access information on members of the General Assembly, committees, committee meetings, legislation, and other publications, visit the General Assembly’s Website.

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