This past Monday the 2015 legislation session of the Maryland General Assembly drew to a tumultuous close. Much of the divide between Maryland's new GOP Governor Larry Hogan, and the Democrat-dominated General Assembly boiled down to the budget and state spending formulas.
Many of the top legislative initiatives of Governor Hogan were tied into the budget strategy. Among them, was the Maryland Education Credit/BOAST Bill, which would have enacted a corporate tax credit program that would effectively begin to solve the tuition challenges faced by Jewish day school families.
As the final weeks of the session approached and the MEC/BOAST Bill remained on the legislative sidelines, the Governor offered an alternative strategy to enact this vital education program in a less traditional manner, making this proposal a line item in his supplemental budget as a corporate grant program.
On Sine Die, the final day of the session, both the House and Senate passed their own versions of the state budget and left the Governor's budget and his supplemental budgets on the proverbial shelf.
The budget that was passed by the House and Senate retained the same $9.6 million in allocations for nonpublic schools (Textbook/Technology and Aging School Construction) as they were in the previous year's budget, and it included a clause for a potential $4 million increase in the Textbook/Technology allocation contingent on funds they still seek from Governor Hogan by July.
Governor Larry Hogan, wearing a seasonally appropriate yarmulke, participated in a "Gubernatorial Chometz Sale" at Beth Tfiloh Congregation right before Pesach. Here he greets Rabbi Ariel Sadwin with Cantor Avi Albrecht and noted philanthropists Marvin Weiner and Leonard Attman looking on.