Governor Larry Hogan to sponsor —
This week in Maryland, nonpublic school advocacy underwent a notably positive shift. In his State of the State address, the first formal address to the General Assembly and State of Maryland, newly inaugurated Governor Larry Hogan introduced and promoted the scholarship tax credit program, the Maryland Education Credit (formerly known as BOAST), among his top priorities for the 2015 legislative session. By doing so, the bill becomes a governor’s administration bill, thus giving it far more prominence in the legislature than it has had in all previous sessions since it was first introduced nearly ten years ago. With little time before the bill drop deadline, Agudath Israel’s Rabbi Ariel Sadwin and Garrett O’Day of the Maryland Catholic Conference spent numerous hours on Thursday in the halls of the legislative offices trying to encourage bi-partisan co-sponsorship and support for the bill.
On Friday, Maryland CAPE (the state’s nonpublic school coalition), under Rabbi Sadwin’s leadership, held its Winter Policy Meeting in Annapolis. The meeting gathered over 50 nonpublic school leaders and advocates to discuss legislative advocacy strategies and opportunities, as well as a number of other legislative and budgetary items of interest and benefit to the nonpublic schools. Due to the Governor’s emphasis on school choice and his support for the scholarship tax credit, the Maryland CAPE meeting was covered by WBAL, Baltimore’s NBC news affiliate.