Gov. Larry Hogan may have been slightly kidding when he compared Maryland legislators to spring breakers during an appearance on yesterday’s C4 Show. But he was apparently serious on another point: If Democrats weren’t happy with his decision to provide money for a new jail in Baltimore City, he would axe the jail proposal.
Late Thursday, Hogan issued a letter to the General Assembly saying he was withdrawing about $18 million to design a new jail complex. He said he would keep money in the budget to demolish the old jail, which he closed over the summer.
Hogan’s letter says ending the jail design frees up money for higher education construction at Morgan State, Coppin State and other state-funded campuses. Democrats and university officials argued this week that the jail funding meant delays for those projects, which include a new student services center at Morgan and the conversion of a Coppin State science center to a business school.
“Despite demands from the legislature for the immediate construction of a new Baltimore Justice Complex, there is clearly no longer support for this project in the General Assembly,” the governor’s letter said.
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