Annapolis Update: March 16, 2015


Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of my Irish (and Irish-for-a-day) friends and neighbors!  If you are seeking a delicious way to celebrate, check out my Chief of Staff’s favorite Shepherd’s Pie recipe.   

Fiscal Overview 

Maryland’s operating budget is roughly $40 billion.  While that seems enormous (and it is!), Maryland isn’t nearly as generous as other states with similar populations.  For the quality of life we Marylanders are blessed to enjoy, we aren’t anywhere near the top of the list for a state of our population, size, diversity, and geography.  Below is a chart that begins to tell the story:  


$40.4 Billion 
5.7 million residents 
$70 Billion  5.6 million residents 
$66 Billion 
4.4 million residents 
$62.7 Billion 
3.9 million residents 

When Governor Larry Hogan introduced his state budget, it took a few weeks for the fiscal committees to comb through it to discover what the new executive intended for our state. There are three aspects of his proposed budget that are of greatest concern to me:  

  1. Cutting $144 million for K-12 and more millions taken from higher education, which will surely result in tuition increases;
  2. Slashing 2% across-the-board from every agency’s budget, regardless of mission or merit.
  3. Eliminating long-promised cost-of-living increases for our state employees, a portion of which had already started in January.  

The Local Perspective 

One of my priorities as your State Senator is to bring back our fair share of the State’s budget for Montgomery County’s needs.  School construction is the delegation’s top funding priority.  Next, I am focused on transportation– both mass transit and road improvements.  In addition to these core needs, the State sometimes allocates funds for worthy local projects.  I sponsored three of these bills for consideration this session:

  • SB744 will allow for renovation of Gaithersburg’s Bohrer Park.  It has already passed the Senate unanimously and will be heard by the House next week;
  • SB151 would ensure that the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes could make capital improvements to some of the residential homes they provide around the County for those with developmental disabilities of all faiths; and 
  • SB176 would partner with the City of Rockville to make the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre’s parking lot and social hall more ADA-accessible.

With less than a month until adjournment, the hours are getting longer.  I will do my best to keep you up-to-date as budget and policy issues develop.  Please be in touch with my office if you have specific concerns or questions via email at or by phone at 301/858-3134.  In addition, I am active on social media and can be found on Facebook at State Senator Cheryl C. Kagan, on Twitter at @CherylKagan, and now on Instagram at @CherylCKagan.  


Cheryl  “O’Kagan”

Cheryl C. Kagan
State Senator, District 17
Rockville & Gaithersburg 

PS:  Testimony on my Organ Donor bill (SB415) went very well last week.  This photo includes some of the transplant recipients, their family members, and other key endorsers.  Please be sure you have joined the registry in order to save lives!  (You can check out the video story on the bill.) 


Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter