Money for Safe Streets, Schools Hang in the Balance Amid Funding Fight

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Larry Hogan at State of the StateGov. Larry Hogan is once again under pressure about a decision to cut state funds that were earmarked for Baltimore City.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the governor decided on Wednesday that he is withholding $80 million that the state’s General Assembly approved during its session. Hogan cited a need to save money for the state, but has been met with protests that Baltimore will take a big hit.

The city’s Safe Streets program is among the line-items that will not be funded. After success in Cherry Hill, the program that employs ex-offenders to intervene in potentially violent confrontations recently expanded. But without the $1.1 million provided by the state, City Health Commissioner Leana Wen said the program would have to shut down.

Schools are also set to feel the cuts. About $25 million was in the funding for public education, including money to renovate older schools. One State Senator pointed out that private school vouchers are still getting funded to the tune of $5 million as part of the budget, and challenged the governor to cut that funding.

“If the state of Maryland cannot afford to spend taxpayer dollars on fixing aging school buildings and preventing class size increases, we certainly cannot afford to help subsidize tuition for those who are already enrolled in private schools,” said Sen. Rich Madaleno.

Schools were also the focusing of a funding fight around this time last year, when Hogan wanted to cut $68 million.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

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