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MARYLAND

Maryland

State Recovery Act Website: http://statestat.maryland.gov/recovery.asp

Maryland's state Recovery Act website scored 80 out of 100 possible points (ranking 1st) on Good Jobs First's 51-state study of state stimulus websites entitled Show Us the Stimulus. The state earned a high score by detailing allocations in broad and narrow program categories, detailing award amounts on a county by county basis, comparing those allocations to economic need, mapping the locale of individual projects, describing the projects undertaken, publishing contractor names and award amounts, projecting the number of jobs created by each project, highlighting the information on a centralized website with clear links, and maintaining the currency of the information. Maryland has a nifty interactive map that provides good information on the geographic distribution of spending in various categories. Contractor information: none.

Maryland scored 75 out of 100 (ranking 1st) on its disclosure of information specifically about highway projects funded by the Recovery Act.  There was not a separate Department of Transportation site as in many other states. The score reflects the inclusion of the allocation each county received individually, how much was allocated compared to measures of economic need, individual projects displayed on a map, project details, contractor names and award amounts, projected and actual jobs data, duration and status of the project, and current data updated within the past month. Contractor information: available here.

For detailed scoring information, see the Maryland appendix of Show Us the Stimulus.

Coordination & Oversight

There is no recovery czar in Maryland. According to Staterecovery.org, Gov. O'Malley has asked his cabinet officials "to determine the most efficient means of utilizing the funds that fall within their respective jurisdictions in a way that rebuilds the state's economic infrastructure, stabilizes the economy and creates jobs for Marylanders."

In August, Gov. O'Malley relaunched the inactive Maryland Economic Development Commission which had been active from 1995 to 2006. The 25 member panel is charged with the task of preparing a 10-year strategic plan for Maryland's economy.

Policy Debates

Education advocates opposed the $13.8 billion annual budget because they felt it shortchanged schools. While the budget incorporates stimulus funds it is also cutting local government aid and other programs. Specifically, one provision cuts $50 million from a formula that provides money to elementary and secondary schools; another provision includes freezing part of the Thornton education funding plan (which guarantees an adequate level of funding for all kids) in fiscal plan 2010 and 2011.

Twenty advocacy groups joined together, calling themselves the Baltimore Education Coalition, to protest possible state funding cuts to city schools. The coalition also believes that the money that schools will receive as part of the stimulus package is not good enough and wants Gov. O'Malley to withdraw proposed changes in education-funding formulas that would disproportionately hurt Baltimore and Prince Georges County.

Last updated on: 14 October, 2009

Quick Facts

Population:
5,633,597

Median Household Income:
$68,080

Unemployment Rate:
7.2%

Poverty Rate:
8.3%

Estimated Recovery Act Funding:
$4.1 billion

Watchdog Groups

Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute

Common Cause Maryland

Maryland PIRG (Public Interest Research Group)

Resources

Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute, Special Report - Governor's Plan for Using Federal Stimulus Dollars, February 2009; online here.

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