Hogan’s budget dumps $16m previously earmarked for downtown hotel, but his budget director Brinkley expects legislators to put it back

Governor Larry Hogan’s proposed budget for FY2017 zeroes out $16m of state funding for the downtown hotel that was provisionally provided in the FY2016 budget after last minute efforts by Senator Young and Delegates Krimm and Young. This year Hogan said: “We are reining how much we borrow. Simply put, we’ve borrowed too much over the past decade, way too much.”

Overall state borrowing was being limited to $994m “in order to keep pour debt service payments from  ballooning,” Hogan said in a presentation on his budget.

The City had been hoping for $16m for the downtown hotel project. $1m had been a grant conditional on an agreement with the Maryland Stadium Authority, but that state agency decided in the fall it wanted no part of the project, so the $1 million grant was lost.

Pre-authorized, De-authorized, Unauthorized….no $s

The Frederick News-Post reports it this way: “A $1 million capital bond authorization for planning costs, however, is recommended to be deauthorized in 2018 and redirected to other projects.”

$15m of state borrowing had been ‘pre-authorized’ in FY2016 in tranches of $7.5m in FY2017 and FY2018.

That $15m is now removed from the state capital budget.

Five of the eight Frederick County delegation to Annapolis, the Republicans, State Senator Michael Hough, and House of Delegates members Kathy Afzali, William Folden, David Vogt and Barrie Ciliberti oppose state funding of the City sponsored hotel.

Afzali the leader of the Frederick County delegation welcomed the news, being quoted in the Frederick News-Post: “I’m hoping we’re going to move on. There’s some other budget shortfalls this year and there’s very important things to fund such as education and pension funds. So let’s not take our resources for one developer. Let’s focus on all of Maryland.”

Afzali says that as a state subsidized project “it is dead.”

Brinkley working with the boondogglers?

The News-Post has a rather remarkable comment from David Brinkley,

Brinkley at right of Gov Hogan – Balt Sun pic

Gov Hogan’s budget secretary and a former senator from Frederick County saying that although money for the Fredereick hotel is not in the governor’s budget “…he (Brinkley) expects that lawmakers will add it later.”

Brinkley seems to be the inside facilitator for funding the Frederick hotel boondoggle!

Governor Hogan needs to make clear who is making decisions in his administration!

2017.01.19

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