ANNAPOLIS– On the same day that Gov. Larry Hogan announced his $42 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2017, several of Maryland’s legislative committees met to discuss their own agendas, and state officials braced for a massive snowstorm.
Here’s a roundup of what took place in and around Annapolis Wednesday:
Senate committee hears briefings from Maryland Association of Counties, College Savings Plan of Maryland
The Maryland Association of Counties and the Maryland Municipal League said they will each prioritize highway user revenues at the state Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee meeting Wednesday afternoon.
MACO President John F. Barr said in addition to highway user revenues, the organization will focus on initiatives for getting state funding for “strong and smart” school construction.
The Maryland Aviation Administration also spoke before the committee, and CEO Ricky D. Smith proposed installing higher quality food and retail options for airport passengers and promoting competition among vendors.
The committee also heard from the College Savings Plan of Maryland. Members discussed the differential increase in tuition at the University of Maryland for juniors and seniors enrolled in engineering, computer science or business majors.
— By Jessica Campisi
Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee hears from two state education agencies
Maryland’s Department of Education shared its perspective on standardized assessments and included key findings from the first edition of PARCC testing during the 2014-2015 school year.
The Maryland Higher Education Commission spoke on college affordability and its goal to launch a website called Maryland Go For It, aimed to match resources to students before they accumulate debt.
Representatives from Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation spoke about the P-20 Leadership Council and the program’s workgroups for the year, which will include at-risk students and workforce development.
Gov. Hogan advises Marylanders to take proper precautions for inclement severe weather
A winter storm heading toward Maryland is predicted to begin on Friday, bringing heavy snow, high winds and cold temperatures to the state, according to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch for central and southern Maryland, as well as a winter storm watch for Western Maryland, according to a MEMA press release.
“We’ve been on top of this storm for a couple days now,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “MEMA is up and running and tracking the storm. Everybody is gearing up and preparing.”
University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh announced that the university will be closed from Friday to Sunday due to the storm.
Hogan advised residents to “go to the stores and stock up” before the weather arrives.
“Start a little early,” he said, “because stores are going to be packed.”
–By Jessica Campisi