The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the budget of the Department of Transportation and each of its modes, such as the State Highway Administration, Maryland Transit Administration, Maryland Transportation Authority, airports and sea port; the Maryland Department of the Environment; the Maryland Department of Agriculture; the Public Service Commission; and more. I look forward to my new role in overseeing these state agencies and their work.
As always, you can keep up with what I am doing by following me at @mkorman on Twitter or by clicking "Like" on Delegate Marc Korman on Facebook.
Taking the gavel of the Transportation & Environment Subcommittee means giving up my current chairmanship: the Personnel Subcommittee. It has been a productive year guaranteeing transit benefits for our state employees; making sure our employees receive cost-of-living adjustments; funding a new state employee student loan repayment program; and ensuring that our state employees are well treated while delivering for Marylanders. I am happy to hand off the gavel to my friend and former Vice Chair, Delegate Pat Young.
The Comptroller's Office and Bureau of Revenue Estimates have issued the "closeout" report for the state's fiscal year 2019, which ended on June 30th. You can read the full report here: https://tinyurl.com/yykuj3p3
There is an unassigned fund balance--the amount leftover after expenses or allocations--of $351.4 million. That just sits in the state's bank account for now (the Governor may, for example, allocate it as part of next year's budget process). The report also shows a "Rainy Day" fund balance of approximately $876 million.
More interesting, at least to me, is the analysis of the Bureau of Revenue Estimates on the fiscal and economic outlook and the tax trends. Personal and corporate taxes were higher than expected (in significant part because of federal tax changes) and the sales tax is fairly soft, although charging for more online purchases in line with the Wayfair Supreme Court decision increased revenue. Of course, what most Marylanders really care about is what these funds go towards: education, public safety, healthcare and more.
The Administration has released its draft Consolidated Transportation Program, its six year capital funding plan. The draft shows a $1.2 billion drop in capital spending in this plan compared to the last six year plan; shifts responsibility for the Corridor Cities Transitway to the County; and projects $103 million in spending on I-270/I-495 expansion (funds the Administration has said will be repaid by a private vendor). The full report is available online and will be the subject of a hearing in Rockville included in the community events below.
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