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Keyword: education

Seeks gains in education, transportation and public safety

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced Baltimore County’s legislative priorities for this year’s General Assembly session that begins tomorrow in Annapolis.

"In consultation with our County's senators and delegates, along with the leadership of the General Assembly, we have crafted important legislative initiatives that will greatly benefit the citizens of Baltimore County and the region," said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.  "We will work hard to make gains in education, transportation, and public safety, and I look forward to a productive 90 day session in Annapolis." 

Baltimore County

Legislative Priorities 2016

  • Advance State funding share for school renovation and construction

    • BCPS has requested $133 million in state matching funds that would be used to add seats, renovate and build new schools, and air condition every County school by 2019.

  • Seek full funding for Countys $64.4 million transportation request

    • The County requests that the State invest in regional mass transit alternatives, make traffic improvements in Owings Mills and Sparrows Point, and provide community development opportunities with streets, streetscapes, and sidewalk improvements. Requests on State roadways include:

    •  Extension of Security Boulevard to Johnnycake Road

    •  Widening and raising of the road from Mohrs Lane to Campbell Boulevard

    •  Construction of a sidewalk on Kenwood Avenue from Lillian Holt Road to Hazelwood Avenue

    •  Creation of a center lane boulevard on Liberty Road between Rolling Road and Courtleigh Drive

    •  Improvements to Frederick Road, (MD 144) from Prospect Avenue to Briarwood Road

    •  Improvements to Eastern Avenue (MD 150) from Mace Avenue to MD 702 as well as relocation of the MARC station on Eastern Avenue

  • Request mandatory minimum statewide staffing levels for social worker caseloads

    • Baltimore County’s average annual caseload per DSS employee is 842 while the State median is 700. The County requests additional state funding to reach the median workload.

  • Ensure that the State fulfill its remaining $1.5 million commitment for the Eastern Family Resource Center

    • Based on the State’s prior commitment, the County broke ground on a $26 million shelter, transitional family housing, and health and vocational services facility utilizing $16 million in County funds, $5 million from Medstar Health and $5 million from the State. The $1.5 million will fulfill the State’s commitment.

  • Secure State support for the following capital projects:

    • Clarify bond language permitting State funds to be allocated for Angel Park in Perry Hall.

    • Receive $500,000 in matching capital funding for roundabout at the intersection of Tufton and Greenspring Roads in historic Worthington Valley.

Key Legislative Issues

  • Advocate for restoration of $68 million in GCEI funding in the current fiscal year, restoring Baltimore County’s share of $2.9 million.

  • Work closely with Speaker Busch and President Miller on policies that stimulate the economy in the Baltimore region.

  • Work with the environmental community in its effort to increase Maryland’s renewable energy portfolio, bringing jobs to the State.

  • Address key issues related to use of police-worn body cameras.

  • Support statewide efforts to combat substance abuse.

  • Support legislative efforts to reform Maryland’s criminal justice system.

Appeal to Governor on Statehouse Steps to Release $68 Million for Maryland's Children

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz joined Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, and Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice (representing Montgomery County Executive Isaiah “Ike” Leggett) on the steps of the State House this morning to call on Governor Larry Hogan to release $68 million in education funding that has been appropriated by the General Assembly.

'It is About Children'

“In Baltimore County, we believe deeply in fiscal responsibility. We are a county that has not raised the property tax in 27 years or the income tax in 23 years. We are one of only 38 counties in the nation with a triple A bond rating. We walk the walk when it comes to fiscal accountability, said Kamenetz. “But this action by the Governor has nothing to do with fiscal responsibility. The state is now projecting an end-of-year surplus of $519.7 million. Even after releasing these funds and increasing funding for state pensions, the state would still have nearly $400 million in surplus above the additional $814 in its own rainy day fund. This is not about fiscal responsibility. It is about children.”

“The money that the state withheld from our schools could have helped our children in so many ways – smaller classroom sizes, expanded after school opportunities, greater access to technology, additional summer programs, more arts and advanced academics,” said Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “It is time for the Governor to release this funding and demonstrate his commitment to invest in our children and our schools.” 

"As elected officials, it is our responsibility to make sure that we keep the promise of public education," said Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner. "Education must remain the path to opportunity and prosperity for all our students, regardless of their circumstances."

"There is nothing more important than in investing in our children's education," said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. "The nearly $18 million we should receive under GCEI is critical."

Surplus Funds Can Supply Resources

“Earlier this year, Governor Hogan cut $20 million from Prince George’s County Public Schools. This is revenue our schools need to maintain and reduce class size, retain experienced and qualified teachers and adequately prepare our students to compete in the increasingly global economy,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “School system after school system has repeatedly demonstrated the hardship that will occur if the Governor does not provide these needed funds. It is inexplicable to us that the Hogan Administration would not use surplus funds to give our children and schools the resources they have relied on for nearly a decade. I am proud to lend my voice to the chorus of local and state officials as well as education and community leaders who are calling for the Governor to release this funding immediately. Anything less would be unfair to the children and families of Maryland.”


gradution caps tossed in the airJulian Baker
Intern, Baltimore County Office of Communications

More than 7,000 seniors will graduate from high schools in Baltimore County this year. 7,000 kids, like me, have to decide what they want to do the summer after graduation. Those questions range from “What weekend do I go to the beach?” to “What college will I go to?” and everything in between. It’s a tough time, but a fun one as well.

It all comes to a head; homework, spring sports, clubs, college applications, concerts and competitions, relationships with classmates, summer jobs, proms and graduation parties. And then, like the air out of a balloon, it all just sort of…ends.

 That balloon metaphor works especially well when you consider how close adulthood actually is. Your time as a carefree high schooler feels like it’s escaping you, if it wasn’t for your last summer vacation.

Life begins to look a lot like a Kerouac novel. Long, lazy days at home, a book on the beach, road trips to nowhere (come September, those road trips will start to feel more like pilgrimages than excursions). At first, boredom isn’t a bad thing. It’s a welcome respite from years of stress. Getting into college is the number one thing on high schoolers’ minds for four years, possibly more. When the last day of school rolls around, it does feel like a relief. Four years of hard work has paid off, and you can enjoy some freedom before four more years of hard work at college.

For recent high-school graduates, thinking too much into the future leaves a little bit of sadness. It makes me feel that I’m not appreciating my time as a kid enough, that I’m letting some memories of summer as a high schooler slip away a little. But thinking too much about the present brings anxiety, too. Worrying about plans on a Friday night takes away from plans for college, and it makes me feel that I won’t be well enough prepared.

But I suppose the point of life is balancing those two things. In my opinion, life’s too short to not have fun. So I’ll work at Meadowood Park this summer, and I’ll spend money on fast food, and I’ll head down to the beach with friends. Because with four fun years behind me, and four more fun years ahead, it’s time to enjoy this time.

So if you’re one of those 7,000 high school graduates in Baltimore County this year, or your son or daughter is one, keep that in mind. Have fun, relax, spend a little money, and enjoy life. EnjoyBaltimoreCounty.com


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