Kamenetz asks for cash, ok for department mergers
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz says he is asking lawmakers representing the county in the General Assembly to help him bring in more state aid for school renovation and construction, and infrastructure improvements along the Liberty Road corridor.
He said he is also looking into a merger of the county's health, aging and social services departments, a move that would need state legislative approval.
Kamenetz is hoping the county's legislative delegation can secure $78 million for the school system with $6.5 million specifically going towards renovation and expansion costs at overcrowded Hampton Elementary School. He’s asking for $2 million for the busy Liberty Road commercial corridor.
The county has already received $21 million for school construction costs. Legislators recently asked Superintendent Joe A. Hairston to make Hampton Elementary a priority in next year’s school budget. The county has set aside $12.5 million for the renovations, which are expected to cost about $19 million.
Kamenetz applauded Gov. Martin O’Malley’s announcement last week that teacher pension costs will not be shifted to the county this year. Like his predecessor, former county executive James T. Smith, Jr., he also threw his support behind a bill sponsored by Sen. Delores E. Kelley that would allow law enforcement agencies to seize the illegal profits of identity theft.
Kamenetz announced the legislative priorities Tuesday in Annapolis.
-Raven L. Hill