(ANNAPOLIS – January 21, 2023)—Yesterday, Governor Wes Moore announced his preliminary FY 2024 budget plan, which includes record investments in education and transportation, while keeping his promise of focusing on creating a competitive and equitable economy, ending childhood poverty in the state, and public safety reform.
“This fiscally responsible budget positions Maryland to build a competitive and thriving economy that includes everyone while advancing critical priorities in education, health, and the environment,” said Governor Moore. “We’ve made it clear—our administration is here to make the lives of every Marylander better, and this budget plan is how we accomplish that.”
Governor Moore’s preliminary FY 2024 Budget Plan outlines investment in Maryland’s two highest priorities for economic growth, including $500 million to fund the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future and $500 million dedicated to support strategic priority transportation projects across the state that align with the governor’s economic competitiveness goals.
Budget plan highlights include:
Historic Investment in Service and Education
- Record $8.8 billion investment in K-12 education for Maryland public schools;
- Record $393 million for Maryland’s 15 local community colleges; $421 million in state support for Maryland’s historically black colleges and universities, amounting to a 19% increase, and a 12% increase in funding for the University System of Maryland;
- $18 million across FY 2023 and FY 2024 to fund the new Department of Service and Civic Innovation to enhance and coordinate service opportunities for Marylanders;
- Record $112 million in funding for the Educational Excellence Awards program, the state’s largest need-based student aid program, which is projected to serve more than 30,000 students in FY 2024.
Historic Investment to End Childhood Poverty
- Permanent extension of the enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) through the Family Prosperity Act;
- Accelerating Maryland’s minimum wage to $15 per hour through the Fair Wage Act and indexing the wage to inflation.
Investment to Strengthen the State Government Workforce
- In total, the budget over the two fiscal years includes $1.3 billion for employee salary and benefit enhancements;
- $39.4 million in salary adjustments for registered nurses, attorneys, emergency response technicians, and certain educator positions;
- Increased base hiring steps for social services workers, parole and probation officers, and DJS resident advisors.
Investment to Ensure a Healthier Maryland
- Record $1.4 billion in direct state support for mental health and substance use programs;
- More than $616 million to fund provider rate increases in the fields of behavioral health, developmental disabilities, Medicaid, and other services;
- More than $154 million to expand adult dental coverage to Medicaid clients and $17 million to reduce waitlists for programs that allow seniors to age in their communities.
Investment to Promote Public Safety
- $122 million in aid to local police departments, including $17.5 million dedicated to Baltimore City, and expansion of the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Public Defender;
- Nearly $69 million in direct local law enforcement grants and $35 million in General Funds for Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding;
- $18 million for the Correctional Officers and Parole and Probation Agents retention incentive bonus program and $8 million and more than 40 additional positions to expand the State Police Gun Center and Firearms Licensing Division.
Investment to Protect the Environment
- $422 million for programs funded by the transfer tax that support land preservation and operations and capital projects in State parks, Including $129 million in General Funds to fully fund the transfer tax repayment provision as revised by the Great Maryland Outdoors Act.