Governor Larry Hogan’s Budget Fully Funds Bay Restoration and Land Conservation Programs
Hogan Administration Continues Strong Support for Environment and Natural Resources
Governor Larry Hogan’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2019 continues to demonstrate his administration’s strong support for Chesapeake Bay restoration and the preservation and protection of Maryland’s environment and natural resources.
“Actions speak louder than words and the governor’s budget can be heard loud and clear,” Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “Governor Hogan’s historic and targeted investments in bay restoration, land conservation and recreation programs are essential to our state’s progress meeting our Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement goals.”
In the budget outlined Tuesday, the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund receives $52.9 million, marking the third year in a row that the Hogan administration has fully funded this cost-effective and targeted bay restoration and water quality program. Funding for the Trust Fund under the Hogan administration exceeds the amount provided in the previous four years by 80 percent.
The budget also marks the first time since 2008 that no funding for transfer tax-funded programs, including Program Open Space, is diverted to the state’s General Fund. Programs funded by the transfer tax receive $253 million, an increase of $67 million from Fiscal Year 2018. Additionally, repayment of past transfers begin with $6 million in additional funding for critical maintenance projects at Maryland’s network of 72 state parks.
Total funding for the Maryland Park Service exceeds the level provided during the previous four years by 25 percent. The increase of $3.8 million includes seven new positions to support record-breaking park attendance and visitation (~14 million in 2017) at parks and other public lands.