Restoring the Trust in Our Education Trust Fund (HB557)
This bill would require revenues generated by Maryland’s casinos to go to our public schools, in addition to and not in place of, general funding for state aid for education. When Maryland voters approved amendments in 2008 and 2012 that allow for casino-style slot and table games, it was with the promise the money generated would help improve our public schools, particularly those in Baltimore and other high-needs districts. But that hasn’t happened because as money from casinos has flowed into our Education Trust, the state has cut education funding from other sources, leaving our schools falling further behind. This bill would stop this bait-and-switch practice. Unlike other education bills, it would also provide additional school funding this year — without waiting for the state to hold yet another referendum on the issue in November — and enable us to make an immediate downpayment on meeting the $2.9 billion funding gap facing the state’s public schools.
Small and Independent Film Entities Tax Credit (HB 616)
The industry of small and independent films is growing in Maryland. However, the Film Activity Tax Credit requires a minimum of a $500,000 budget to qualify, one rarely met by independent companies. This bill would alter that act to provide funding and eligibility requirements for small and independent filmmakers, to serve as a platform to support this growing industry.
Hearing: Wednesday, February 14, 1:00PM, Ways and Means