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Higher Education in Maryland

March 2009 Press Release



For immediate release: March 6, 2009                                                        Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen

                                                                                                                             Communications: (410) 260-4511



Secretary Lyons Testifies on Behalf of Governor O'Malley's

Higher Education Investment Fund Bill

ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 6, 2009) -  Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons, Sr., testified before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee today on behalf of extending Governor O’Malley’s landmark Higher Education Investment Fund (HEIF).

Senate Bill 275, which was introduced by Governor O’Malley, will make permanent the 6 percent distribution of total funds generated through the corporate income tax to the HEIF beginning in fiscal 2010.

The HEIF was created during the 2007 Special Session of the Maryland General Assembly. This bill creates a designated funding source for higher education to be used to supplement General Fund appropriations for public senior higher education capital projects; for workforce development initiatives administered by MHEC; and for initiatives to address higher education needs related to the United States Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.

MHEC has oversight of the BRAC Higher Education Investment Funds and recently awarded $2 million resulting in 22 grants to many of Maryland’s institutions of higher education to address BRAC needs. These projects will assist with the development of online courses, technology upgrades, workforce development and other new innovative programs. Without this funding, projects like these and specific institutional enhancements would not have been possible.

“The Higher Education Investment Fund was a very unique creation by Governor O’Malley,” Secretary Lyons said during his testimony before a packed committee room. “It really makes Maryland stand out.”

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is a 12-member coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide policies for Maryland public and independent colleges and universities and private career schools. It serves as an advocate for more than 325,000 college students in Maryland, for the State and its needs, and for business and industry in Maryland.


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