State Roundup, March 16, 2017

HOGAN BUDGET: Maryland’s House of Delegates on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to Gov. Larry Hogan’s $43.5 billion budget after restoring nearly three-quarters of the $112 million in spending requirements the Republican leader had wanted to cut, reports Josh Hicks in the Post. The chamber, which is on track to advance the revised fiscal plan to the Senate this week, added amendments to salvage funding Hogan planned to slash for a new hospital in Prince George’s County, state grants for poorer jurisdictions and teacher-retention, after-school and scholarship programs.

  • As the House of Delegates nears an up-or-down vote on Gov. Larry Hogan’s $43.5 billion spending plan today, House budget chief Maggie McIntosh sees a lot of good news from her perspective — a revenue shortfall erased, critical programs preserved and a healthy reserve fund. Del. McIntosh said legislators crafted a plan that seeks to avoid past wrangling with the Republican governor while giving him the fiscal wiggle room to contribute state money to help the Baltimore school system to make up a $130 million shortfall, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun.

COMPROMISE ROADS BILL: Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday that a bill crafted by lawmakers would prevent the cancellation of 66 road projects around the state, the result of a compromise on legislation to score and rank transportation projects. Lawmakers sidestepped a potentially ugly confrontation by agreeing to legislation that would delay the effect of the scoring system for two years — long enough to get past the 2018 election. The House of Delegates has yet to act on the measure, writes Michael Dresser in the Sun.