Annapolis, Md. – Today, House Republicans issued a letter to House Speaker Michael Busch urging him to convene a public meeting of the House Appropriations Committee to review the latest Department of Legislative Services (DLS) analysis of the State Center Project.
In a report issued last week, the most critical concerns raised were both the long-term and short-term General Fund costs of the project given the state’s significant structural deficits; the impact of the State Center project on Maryland’s debt limits; and, the lack of legislative oversight of the State Center project as a whole.
“Maryland’s budget outlook is already grim. Based on the information from DLS, the State Center project appears to be yet another bad deal for Maryland taxpayers. This is a burden that they – quite literally – cannot afford,” said House Minority Leader, Nicholaus Kipke. “Fortunately, in their analysis, DLS also laid out options that may allow us to free Maryland’s taxpayers from the ever-growing burden of this State Center Project. These options deserve the Administration’s and Legislature’s consideration.”
The O’Malley/Brown Administration is seeking approval from the Board of Public Works to approve the latest updates to the State Center Contracts at their meeting on December 17th. House Republicans are urging the Speaker to allow the House Appropriations Committee to join a Senate Budget & Taxation Committee meeting scheduled for December 9th, or schedule one of their own in advance of the Board of Public Works meeting later this month.
“As the O’Malley/Brown Administration begins their exit from Annapolis, we question the appropriateness of their efforts to push through this bad deal for Maryland’s taxpayers in the eleventh hour of their term,” said House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga. “We would hope that in light of voters’ loud and clear message that state spending is out of control, they would not add to their legacy as irresponsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.”
For more background on the State Center Project, here’s a great read: MarylandReporter.com: State Center Boondoggle.