Maryland Legislators Dealing With Budget Surplus This Session

Delegate Carol Krimm

It’s an amount of $4-billion.

Annapolis, Md (KM) There’s some good news for this year’s Maryland General Assembly. The state has a budget surplus of $4-billion. “Usually, we go into the General Assembly thinking we’re going to be cutting. But with a surplus like that, not so much cutting,” says Frederick County Delegate Carol Krimm, a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

A lot of that money is federal assistance for state to get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delegate Krimm  says lawmakers are looking at spending this extra money on the Blueprint for Education, a 13-year, multi-million dollar investment in public education to provide opportunities for all students. “The Blueprint is paid for through fiscal year ’26 and maybe ’27. So we’re going to look at trying to extend that,” says Krimm.

Among the provisions in the Blueprint is increasing teacher salaries. “Bring teachers’ salaries up and also put them on a career path. To encourage more of our college students to choose teaching as a career pathway,” she says.

There’s also a goal of universal pre-kindergarten. “That’s where children at that age just are like sponges in that they pick up so much information, and we’d like to put them on a head start as much as we can,” says Krimm.

She says the Legislature will be “judicious” in how this surplus is used, and it won’t be spent in one year.

Delegate Krimm is also sponsoring a cybersecurity bill which requires government workers and contractors who have access to the state’s computer system to be trained to spot ransomware and other malware. “Because they have interaction with the state’s computer infrastructure. And we have to be sure that people who interact with the state’s computer infrastructure that they are trained to spot ransomware or bad actors as we call them,” says Delegate Krimm.

This follows last year’s ransomware attack on the Maryland Department of Health’s’ computers. State officials say no ransom was paid in order to regain control of the agency’s computers.

But Krimm says it isn’t  just the Maryland Health Department Computers. “We’ve had instances with local government with some boards of education that have been infected. So I think the more training the better for people who access to the   state computer infrastructure.”

The 2022 General Assembly convened on Wednesday, January 12th.

By Kevin McManus