Spurred by last week’s announcement that Maryland is looking at a $430 million budget surplus for the upcoming fiscal year, several nonprofit groups are teaming up to urge lawmakers and Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) to invest more in programs that boost economic opportunity, promote equity and inclusion and improve Marylanders’ quality of life.
The group Maryland Nonprofits is spearheading the campaign, which it is calling ACTivate Maryland. Advocates say state resources are particularly critical at a time when federal funding for programs related to health, transit, environmental protection and community development is in jeopardy.
“While Maryland is one of the nation’s most affluent states, many individuals, families and communities are locked out of that prosperity,” said Heather Iliff, executive director of Maryland Nonprofits, the statewide association of nonprofit organizations. “When Maryland invests in its communities, everybody wins. ACTivate Maryland will encourage Marylanders across the state to be more vocal about supporting state investment in critical programs.”
ACTivate Maryland’s partner organizations include:
- 1000 Friends of Maryland
- Advocates for Children and Youth
- Associated Black Charities
- Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers
- CASH Campaign of Maryland (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope)
- Catholic Charities
- Community Development Network of Maryland
- Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance
- Health Care for All
- Job Opportunities Task Force
- League of Women Voters
- Maryland Association of Resources for Families and Youth
- Maryland Center on Economic Policy
- Maryland Citizens for the Arts
- Maryland Family Network
- Nonprofit Montgomery
- Nonprofit Prince George’s
“The bottom line is that we believe Maryland should be investing in people and communities,” Iliff said. “The ACTivate Maryland coalition will be a loud and consistent advocacy voice for creating new opportunities for people to build stronger lives, especially at a time when federal funding is at risk.”
Lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on Hogan’s $44.5 billion operating budget, which passed the Senate unanimously on Thursday. Fiscal year 2019 takes effect on July 1.
No word yet on whether Hogan will submit a supplemental spending plan given the newfound surplus.