Governor Hogan has made the decision to delay $72 million in funds that were supposed to enable The Universities at Shady Grove to begin constructing a new biomedical sciences building at its Rockville campus this year. What does that mean for the county?
Local lawmakers are saying Hogan pulled the previously authorized funding for the school, part of the University System of Maryland, in order to help fund a new $480 million Baltimore city jail.
Under Hogan’s budget plans the school wouldn’t receive the money until 2020. That means officials would have to delay a planned groundbreaking at the school that would have taken place this year after the completion of a $26 million parking garage paid for by the county to support the expansion.
The county contributed $26 million of its own funds for the parking garage with the expectation the state would approve the funds for the new science building. And what was going to be in the new science building? It was planned to house technology, engineering and agriculture programs which would have helped to create jobs and enhance the workforce in the state.
Are we open for business? Do we want to see the economy improve in the state? Do we want to have Montgomery County be a desirable location for businesses? When funding is pulled for projects such as Universities at Shady Grove, it only sends the message to the region and to the business community that the state is not open for business and not ready to invest in the economic future.
Long term economic growth begins with an educated population. I am disappointed that funding has been delayed for the Universities at Shady Grove.
Is the state really open for business?