March 20th, 2017 by WCBC Radio
Today U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees, released the following analysis of some of the impacts that the Trump budget would have on Maryland’s economy:
“President Trump’s budget proposal would have deep and lasting negative consequences for Maryland’s economy. From Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore – and everywhere in between – the federal government makes vital investments in our state that create jobs, improve infrastructure, and boost innovation,” said Senator Van Hollen. “This budget would kill many of those efforts, resulting in lost jobs and less opportunity. We need to be growing our economy, not slashing it. I will fight tooth and nail against the Trump budget in the U.S. Senate.”
MARYLAND ECONOMIC IMACTS:
· Slashes the Community Development Block Grant Program, which helps Maryland build better communities and improve the lives of people across the state. In fiscal year 2016, Maryland received $45 million from the program, including funding for Maryland’s Entitlement Communities. Those communities include Annapolis, Baltimore City, Bowie, Cumberland, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Hagerstown, Salisbury, and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s. Maryland received more than $52 million from the program in 2015.
· Eliminates the Economic Development Administration, which helps coordinate and invest in regional economic development and increase employment. Maryland received $2.38 million from EDA in fiscal year 15, including $300,000 for the National Urban League Entrepreneurship Center in Baltimore to support start-ups and small businesses. There are also three EDA Economic Development Districts in Maryland – the Mid-Shore Regional Council (Caroline, Dorchester, and Talbot Counties), the Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland (Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset Counties), and the Tri-County Council for Western Maryland (Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties). In the past, EDA has funded grants like $3.2 million for the Maryland Broadband Cooperative to run a fiber optic network to the Eastern Shore and connect to UMMS hospitals, colleges, and technology parks. It also funded the Dorchester County Business and Technology Park, which is home to the Eastern Shore Innovation Center (a business incubator for start-ups).
· Eliminates the Appalachian Regional Commission, which provides critical funding for economic development in Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties. In partnership with the Maryland Department of Planning, ARC has supported 20 projects in Maryland totaling nearly $2.6 million since 2015. These investments have been matched by $9.9 million and will attract an additional $10.4 million in leveraged private investments in Maryland. In the last month alone, ARC has provided $563,750 in western Maryland to improve infrastructure and strengthen educational programs.
· Jeopardizes the Purple Line, because the budget eliminates funding for New Starts Transit Projects without a Full Funding Grant Agreement. Because the Purple Line agreement has not been signed yet, this threatens its funding. It also would prevent funding for future projects, which would be a blow to Maryland’s economy.
· Eliminates the TIGER grant program, which has been used in Maryland for projects like replacing the Colgate Creek Bridge, improving Broening Highway, and expanding capacity at the Fairfield Marine Terminal at the Port of Baltimore; upgrading MD-175 near Fort Meade; and improving bus service and safety along North Avenue in Baltimore City.
· Eliminates the PACE and DSCOVR Earth programs at NASA Goddard, which would mean fewer jobs and less research capabilities.