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Gov. Larry Hogan's proposed fiscal 2017 budget.  (The Daily Record/Bryan P. Sears)
Gov. Larry Hogan's proposed fiscal 2017 budget. (The Daily Record/Bryan P. Sears)

Hogan’s $20m budget mystery

There’s $20 million mystery in Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed budget: What company is getting the money?

The money appears in the budget in the form of an increase in the state’s so-called “Sunny day account” If approved by the General Assembly the funds would be disbursed in four $5 million annual installments.

Warren Deschenaux, the General Assembly’s top budget analyst, said the stated purpose of the increase “is to support aerospace and defense research.”

Warren G. Deschenaux, of the Maryland General Assembly Department of Legislative Services, Office of Policy Analysis in 2009. Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record

Warren G. Deschenaux, of the Maryland General Assembly Department of Legislative Services, Office of Policy Analysis in 2009. Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record

“There is not a company name attached to that but you can imagine the kinds of companies involved presumably,” Deschenaux said.

The “sunny day account,” more formally known as the Economic Opportunities Fund, is typically used to attract new businesses to the state or help with expansion or retention of companies.

Currently the fund has a $3 million balance. The last time the state added money to the account was in 2002. Hogan proposes to add $20 million to the current fund.

A Hogan spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Should the legislature not cut the request from the budget Hogan would still . approval of the Legislative Policy Committee in order to expend the fund.

“I expect there will be a full vetting of the deal at some point whether it’s during the session or afterward,” Deschenaux said.

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