When Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wrote a letter in January about the prospects of a proposed $49 billion fiscal year 2022 budget, he raised the prospects of deficits, spending freezes and cuts to programs as the state continues to battle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Nearly three months later, lawmakers approved a $52.4 billion budget Friday that will boost the state’s unemployment system, enhance broadband internet access as students continue virtual learning and capital projects to renovate parks and other buildings.
Del. Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore City), who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, called the budget bill “the recovery act” that includes $2.1 billion in cash reserves.
The House approved the budget 125-8.
“We leave here this year [with] the budget not only fully balanced, but it erases any deficit for this year and next year. It gives us a path to recovery,” she said on the House floor. “It still helps those who need our help.”
Besides an expected positive economy, the state received $3.9 billion in federal aid as part of the American Rescue Act.
About $1 billion will be used in this year’s budget from the Maryland RELIEF Act lawmakers passed in February. The money provided stimulus payments for
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