ANNAPOLIS, MD – Funding for a third building at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center (SMHEC) in Annapolis is likely to be in the state’s fiscal year (FY) 2016 operating budget, a former state lawmaker reported. The third building at the Hollywood site would help provide a research facility for the University System of Maryland.

“There will be $450,000 in the operating budget,” state former delegate John Bohanan in a missive sent out Monday, April 13 to project supporters. “This, coupled with a previous amount of $250,000 that I put into the budget in the Session of 2013 for the UAV Test Site, which has been determined to be eligible for the third building. That is a total of $700k for the project. We now need to work on the [St. Mary’s] County Commissioners to build support for them to consider the possibility of funding the balance of the $3.8 million needed to keep the planning and design phase of this important project.”

However, Senator Steve Waugh [R=District 29] told The Bay Net Monday afternoon “nobody knows right now. This thing is going to go down to the wire.”

Waugh said Governor Larry Hogan was “personally very supportive” of the SMHEC project. What is preventing the allocation from becoming a done deal, said Waugh, “is pure parochialism on the part of [House] Speaker [Michael] Busch.”
Waugh added that the funds for the SMHEC project became endangered when the University System failed to submit its funding request in a timely manner.

The 2015 Session of the Maryland General Assembly concludes at midnight.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com