Advertisement

Committee must work out USM-H funding compromise

April 03, 2009|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

ANNAPOLIS -- A compromise on the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown's budget could begin today, but no official decisions will be made until next week.

Lawmakers in the House of Delegates and the state Senate have approved different versions of the state's operating budget for fiscal year 2010.

The House version includes a decrease in USM-H's $2 million operating budget of $500,000 and further reductions over the next four years. It also includes a requirement that the Hagerstown campus' viability be studied by a task force. The Senate version includes a 1 percent increase in funding in the fiscal year 2010 operating budget, and no requirement for a study.

A compromise on USM-H must be reached in a conference committee that includes senators and delegates. The House announced its panel Friday, but the Senate has not announced its representatives on that committee yet. It will not be able to do so until Monday, the next time the Senate is in session, restricting the panel from making any official decisions until next week.

Advertisement

The conference committee discussing the operating budget, which includes USM-H's budget, will begin meeting unofficially today. The conferees will begin discussing items but will not take any official action until next week. It was unclear whether USM-H would be discussed today.

Del. John D. Bohanan Jr., D-St. Mary's, was announced as one of the House's representatives on the conference committee. Last year, Bohanan pushed to eliminate all $2.1 million for fiscal year 2009 for USM-H and spread it among several non-USM higher-education centers, including one in his district. Under the proposal, USM-H might have received $700,000. The House and Senate negotiated a compromise that restored $2 million to USM-H. Bohanan also was part of last year's compromise. Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, was involved in the conference committee group that restored USM-H funding last year as well. Munson learned late Friday that he would be on the conference committee involved in this year's budget negotiations, including the debate over USM-H.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|