State Legislative Wins: Aid for Pandemic Relief, Schools and Climate Change

State aid for renovations to Lincoln Park Community Center as well as education, and measures to combat climate change, were among the wins for Rockville during the Maryland General Assembly session that concluded April 12.

Lawmakers approved a $250,000 bond bill to renovate Lincoln Park Community Center, reconfiguring its former police substation offices, hallways and other spaces to address the growing demand for expanded programming, including after-school programs and community gatherings. The General Assembly also waived a requirement for the city to match the funds.

The session was marked by efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maryland Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs, and Families (RELIEF) Act authorized $687 million of state aid and $585 million of targeted tax relief across the current and next fiscal year, to support recovery.

The state budget for Fiscal Year 2022, which begins July 1, includes more than $7.5 billion in aid to local school systems, a priority for Rockville that is an increase of 3.5% over the current fiscal year. Montgomery County will also receive $42.89 million for school construction.

The state will partner with the Maryland Child Care Resource Network to provide grants to in-home child care providers, thereby increasing access to affordable child care, another Mayor and Council priority.

The legislature approved two climate change policy initiatives supported by the city. One authorizes, beginning in 2024, the formation of the Community Choice Aggregation Pilot Program. The program would allow Montgomery County and its municipalities to pool their purchasing power to offer consumers lower-cost renewable energy that produces less greenhouse gas emissions. The other extends a state rebate program for the purchase of electric vehicles.

The General Assembly also repealed “Maryland, My Maryland” as the state song, an action the Mayor and Council urged in a letter to state officials and with written testimony during the session.

Legislation that would have addressed some of the city’s concerns with the I-495 and I-270 managed lanes project, and another measure tied to future public-private partnerships – both supported by the city – failed. Learn more about the city’s effort to oppose the managed lanes project.

Plans are in the works for the state District 17 delegation to present a report on the session to the Mayor and Council. Visit the Agenda Center for details as they become available. For more information, contact Linda Moran at or 240-314-8115.

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