Kamenetz's Top Legislative Priority Remains School Funding
County Executive Also Seeking $72 Million in Transportation Funds
Towson, Maryland (January 7, 2014) – Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz unveiled the County's legislative funding wish list today as Maryland prepares to open its General Assembly this Wednesday.
School Renovation and Construction Projects
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's legislative agenda will continue to focus on school renovation and construction funding. Baltimore County has funded or is preparing to fund 10 new schools and six renovated schools at a cost of $600 million since 2010, including the State's share of costs. During that same period of time, the number of schools in Baltimore County without air conditioning has been reduced from 52 percent to 22 percent.
This year's request to the State is $88 million which includes comprehensive solutions to overcrowding in the southwest and central areas of the County. Working closely with the State delegation and the County Council over the past decade, the County has spent more than $1.5 billion dollars of county and state funds for school renovation and construction projects.
"There is simply no more important commitment that we can make to the future of the County than our commitment to providing students and teachers with 21st century classrooms in which to learn," said County Executive Kamenetz. "I will work closely with our delegation and the school system to secure this funding."
Last year, the County obtained a record sum of $56 million for school construction and renovation projects.
The County is requesting $72 million dollars from the State for transportation projects. Those projects are divided into Major Transportation Projects (involving greater than $10 million State contribution); Minor Transportation Projects (involving State commitment less than $10 million); and Sidewalk Initiatives. Those projects are:
- $9 million for traffic improvements on Reisterstown Road at Painters Mill Road and Hooks Lane
- $28 million for completion of the expressway interchange on I-795 at Dolfield Boulevard
- $5 million for streetscape improvements on Liberty Road MD 26 between Rolling Road and Courtleigh Drive
- $2 million for streetscape improvements on Reisterstown Road MD 140 at Main Street
- $4 million to extend Security Boulevard MD 122 to Johnnycake Road
- $3 million for streetscape improvements on Frederick Road MD 144 at Paradise
- $200,000 for streetscape improvements along Harford Road MD 147 in Parkville at the city/county line
- $3 million for streetscape improvements on Eastern Avenue MD 150 from Mace Avenue to MD 702
- $7 million to improve the intersection at Campbell Boulevard (MD 43- MD7)
- $9 million to improve the intersection at Pulaski Highway MD 40 at Mohrs Lane
- $1 million for sidewalks from Lillian Holt Road to Hazelwood Avenue
- $500,000 for sidewalks on Liberty Road from the city line to I-695
Other Baltimore County Initiatives
- Full Support of Gas Tax exemption for County-owned vehicles and restoration of any portion of Highway User funds
- Full Support of $2.5 million in State funding for the Eastern Family Resource Center at Franklin Square
Public Education, Public Safety, and Rebuilding Infrastructure
"Baltimore County continues to focus on three major priorities," concluded County Executive Kamenetz. "Those priorities remain public education, public safety, and rebuilding the County's aging infrastructure. As the session unfolds, I will collaborate with our Senate and House delegation to support the County's effort in those important areas. We are fortunate to have outstanding leaders like Senator Ed Kasemeyer who serves as the Chair of Budget and Taxation and Speaker Pro-Tem Adrienne Jones, who fight on behalf of Baltimore County every day. I worked closely last session with the Chairs of the County's House and Senate delegations, Delegate John Olszewski Jr. and Senator Kathy Klausmeier, and I will work with whoever the delegations select as Chairs this year to move the County's agenda forward."