NewsLocal News


Governor Moore to sign state's $63 billion budget, and more than 150 bills into law

Moore delivers on his 'Service Year' campaign promise
Wes Moore vs. Dan Cox.jpeg
Posted at 9:03 AM, Apr 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-24 09:17:52-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Governor Wes Moore (D) will sign Maryland's $63 billion budget Monday. The General Assembly approved the budget for fiscal year 2024 earlier this month.

Education plays a big role in the state's budget with about $8.7 billion in public school funding. It includes $900 million dollars dedicated to education reform known as the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund.

As part of an effort to end child poverty, the budget includes $2.25 million to provide free breakfasts for public school students.

The budget also provides $200 million in tax relief for Maryland taxpayers through an expansion of the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit programs.

The budget includes nearly $35 million to help bump up the pay for the state’s executive branch workforce. It would give raises to experienced employees who've had the lowest salary increases in recent years.

The budget sets aside $25 million in additional funds to help provide affordable rental housing for Maryland families, as well as $32 million in capital grants for 32 local nonprofit organizations which help people in under-resourced communities.

There is also an $11 million investment in technology infrastructure to keep Maryland safe from violent crime, cyber attacks, and other threats though the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center (MCAC) within the Maryland State Police.

Despite the long list of spending items, the budget includes maintaining nearly $3 billion in cash reserves for the state.

Governor Moore also will sign more than 150 bills into law Monday, one of which is his ‘Service Year Bill.’

“The Serve Act" would establish a program to provide a variety of job opportunities for young people.

It’s a victory for the governor as he's delivering on a campaign promise that no matter where someone starts out in life, they deserve an equal opportunity to succeed.

The governor's ‘Service Year Bill,’ Senate Bill 551, is officially known as the Serving Every Region Through Vocational Exploration Act of 2023.

It helps give students fresh out of high school an opportunity to gain a year's worth of experience in a public service industry job.

The idea is to give them the skills they need to set them on a path for a more prosperous future.

“The Serve Act" sets up the Young Adult Service Year Option Pathway Fund along with the existing Maryland Corps program fund (renamed as the Maryland Service Year Option Pathway Fund) to pay for the program.

It also establishes rules and goals for the program such as participating employers will be required to pay program participants $15 an hour. Participants will be required to work at least 30 hours per week, and partner with a mentor while working in a service industry job.

After completing the one-year program, participants would receive a stipend up to $3,000.

The governor hopes the program will create a pipeline of talent into filling state and local government jobs.

The Department of Service and Civic Innovation would administer and provide staff for the job program.

The newly created position of Secretary of Service and Civic Innovation will oversee the program and promote service and volunteerism here in Maryland.