ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland State Education Association spent the most money on lobbying in the state capital during the latest filing period, as the state’s largest union pushed for major new spending on state schools, according to reports filed with the State Ethics Commission.

The reports covered Nov. 1 through April 30, which includes the state’s annual 90-day legislative session, a high-stakes one for the organization. The session started on Jan. 9 and ended April 8.

MSEA, which represents more than 74,000 educators and school employees who work in Maryland’s public schools, spent about $784,000 on lobbying during a session when the union brought thousands of educators to Annapolis in March to urge lawmakers to increase education funding.

The General Assembly approved legislation in April to begin implementing recommendations by a state commission that has been studying ways to improve the state’s schools. Lawmakers approved spending about $1.1 billion over three years as a down payment on a long-term spending plan. It includes raising teacher pay and implementing programs to help low-income and special education students.

In May, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan announced he would release about $255 million in extra education funding for the fiscal year that began July 1 as part of an initial down payment. The legislation went into effect without his signature, after the governor expressed concerns about future spending without fiscal safeguards and accountability.

While the Democratic-controlled General Assembly approved the initial down payment, it’s estimated that the cost of fully implementing the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations would rise to an estimated $3.8 billion a year in a decade for K-12 education. The commission plans to keep working on new funding formulas for state and local contributions. Those formulas were last raised in 2002.

Meanwhile, Baltimore Gas and Electric spent about $606,000 on lobbying during the period, the second-highest amount.

Johns Hopkins Institutions, which successfully pushed for legislation allowing its own armed police force at its academic campuses and main medical campus in Baltimore, spent the third-highest amount of about $531,000.

Pepco Holdings Inc. spent about $502,700, the fourth-highest amount. Northeast Maglev LLC, which is working to build a high-speed, magnetic levitation train linking Baltimore and Washington, spent about $428,600, the fifth-largest amount.

Lobbyist Gerry Evans was the top-earning lobbyist with more than $2.4 million. Bruce Bereano reported the second-highest amount for the period, with more than $1.9 million. Others in the top five included Tim Perry, who reported about $1.2 million, Michael Johansen, who reported about $1.1 million, and Lisa Harris Jones, who also reported about $1.1 million. Frank Boston was the only other lobbyist to report more than $1 million.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) comments

riccicc

How is it we are spending more and more money on schools while the kids "graduating" can't even count change to a full dollar amount correctly? I know of 3 kids personally like that. Maybe it is what I've been hearing, that the increase for schools is because of larger and larger classrooms and teachers needed because of all these illegal alien kids in our schools that are not even citizens. It's costing us taxpayers money while the American kids are getting worse but try asking how many illegal alien kids are in FCPS and you're told "that's protected information." Protected information? With my taxes paying for it but I'm denied that information? I believe not!

hayduke2

Come on man. Be better than this kind of posting. " I heard", "people are saying", and " some people think" are not valid arguments. Get real.

MD1756

Don't forget the citizen children of illegal aliens placing a burden on our social programs. They aren't counted as a cost of illegal immigration by many studies even though they really are. That lobbying no doubt included included pushes for increases in state funding for salaries and benefits, but probably no requirement for cost benefit analysis of increasing fund versus other strategies. For example, what would be the benefit of requiring a certain minimum parental involvement in the education of their children and a certain minimum responsibility (for hold the parents responsible for students' unexcused absences)? Seem like just that example would be cheaper than just throwing more money towards education while reducing testing and giving significant percentages of grades just for student participation.

DickD

Amounts listed are probably before expenses, which must be high. It would be interesting to see the net amount Also, how was the expense money spent. Maybe we will find out how utility companies get to raise their prices. ..I would also like to know why there are not more cable companies. Did anyone lobby Xfinity?

public-redux

"...and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." I love the Constitution.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominen criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.