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Maryland Senate debates funding shift to education in budget

today03/23/2023 51

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Senate has debated a big shift of funds in the state budget from transportation to future education costs for K-12.

The Senate gave initial approval to the state’s $62.5 billion budget Wednesday. The legislature is working on moving money Gov. Wes Moore had set aside for future transportation projects to pay for rising costs in the phased-in implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.

The Senate wants to move $300 million of the $500 million Moore had set aside for transportation to the blueprint. That’s in addition to a separate $500 million Moore allocated for the blueprint, for a total of $800 million.

Sen. Steve Hershey, an Eastern Shore Republican who is the Senate minority leader, sponsored an amendment that would set the $300 million aside to help pay for tax relief for senior citizens that is proposed in a separate bill, called The Retirement Tax Elimination Act of 2023.

Hershey said during debate that “there’s still a lot of doubt” about how affordable the education plan will be as it is implemented in future years.

Source: AP – All contents copyright 2023 Associated Press.  All rights reserved.

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