Editors' Pick

Best News for MoCo from the State Legislature

Montgomery County has few needs more pressing than additional school facilities. So it was a relief to local leaders when the county dodged a financial bullet in Annapolis on this front in 2019. Amid skirmishing between Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and the Democratic-controlled General Assembly over state spending, many Maryland counties saw their allocations for school construction take a hit when the governor declined to spend some money approved by the legislature. Montgomery’s allocation, however, is determined in significant part by its rapid student population growth under a formula mandated by the General Assembly—over which the governor has less control. It allowed the county’s share of state assistance for new school construction to remain at $59 million, the same level as the previous year. “I hate to call treading water a victory, but in this case, where other counties are seeing pretty big hits on school construction, we’re basically even,” noted one MoCo legislator. County lawmakers are hoping for some really good news in 2020—the passage of a $2.2 billion statewide bill being pushed by legislative leaders. It could pump around $400 million into Montgomery County and put a big dent in the local $1.8 billion school construction backlog.