This week marked an important milestone for the 2017 session – the release of the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. Maryland does not allow legislators to add or move money around in the budget. This gives the governor tremendous power to control the budget and its priorities. Governor Larry Hogan’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget, which will become effective July 1, 2017, is balanced as required by law. The $43.5 billion budget dips into the Revenue Stabilization Account, better known as the Rainy Day Fund, but maintains the minimum balance preferred by ratings agencies to maintain the state’s AAA bond rating.