Congressman John Sarbanes, Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin, and David Trone (all D-Md.) issued the following statement today applauding Maryland’s $2.5 billion budget surplus for Fiscal Year 2021. This surplus reflects the Maryland Congressional Delegation’s broad success in securing a combined $11.9 billion of federal funding through the American Rescue Plan as well as billions more dollars to Maryland through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) and COVID-Relief package passed by the U.S. Congress as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act in December 2020. Together, these bills provided $5.37 billion in direct, flexible funding for the State of Maryland under the Coronavirus Relief Fund and Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund.
In May of 2020, Maryland’s fiscal future was grim. State projections indicated that Maryland would lose more than $1.2 billion in revenue in just a few months without responsible action by the federal government. By May 2023, Maryland was projected to have 100,000+ fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic. This was an abrupt reversal in economic fortunes and the fastest drop in economic indicators on record. There were even proposals to make drastic cuts to essential programs, including K-12 public school funding, community colleges, crime prevention services, public safety, state police and employee pay among other priorities with which Federal Team Maryland could not agree.
The Maryland Congressional Delegation focused on keeping Marylanders employed, businesses afloat and families out of poverty, bringing almost $12 billion in federal funding to Maryland by passing the historic American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021. The Delegation has also worked to provide federal funding for key initiatives like broadband expansion, emergency rental assistance for tenants and landlords, and giving much-needed funding to low-income Marylanders through the state’s RELIEF Act of 2021. All three of these initiatives relied on more than $1.2 billion in federal funding. The American Rescue Plan funding also provided $1.1 billion to replenish the state unemployment insurance trust fund, securing a safety net for those struggling with unemployment, and protecting small businesses from drastic increases in their unemployment insurance premiums. By keeping people working and businesses open, tax revenue and consumer spending increased.
The lawmakers said: “Over the last year, Federal Team Maryland has fought tooth and nail to provide federal funds to support our state. We are glad to have helped secure Maryland’s strong fiscal footing and a $2.5 billion budget surplus. But the work to protect Marylanders from the impact of COVID-19 is not done – many are still grappling with the devastating impacts of the pandemic. Across our state, families are facing eviction, struggling to find affordable childcare, and facing financial hardship. Given this reality, we hope the State will work to support those who need it most, including by expediting release of federal funds allocated to that purpose.”
“Federal Team Maryland will continue to support our workers, families, small businesses, and communities with the resources they need to build back better,” the lawmakers added.