HEALTH DEPARTMENT: TARGET STATE FUNDING REQUESTS TOWARDS NON-RECURRING NEEDS

Problem Identification:
The City has enjoyed limited success in convincing the State to increase its annual level of financial support for public health initiatives, most notably in the area of substance abuse. Funding sources are reluctant to see grant recipients utilize new funds to support initiatives that will ultimately be contingent upon recurring financial support.

Recommended Action:
Pursue a new approach to increase State funding by focusing lobbying efforts on securing funds for non-recurring needs such as improving the Department’s information technology infrastructure.

Classification:
Revenue Enhancement

Functional/Operational Area:
All Department Operations

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Cost:
Not Determined

Barriers to Implementation:
None

Projected Implementation:
Ongoing

Next Steps:
Identify the Department’s most pressing one-time, non-recurring needs and target the City’s lobbying efforts to secure funding from the State for these specific needs.

Analysis:
The State of Maryland entered FY2001 with a $1 billion budget surplus. Over $500 million of the surplus will be invested in one-time capital projects in the areas of education, transportation, and smart growth. State spending affordability controls cap the appropriation of surplus funds to activities that would not have ongoing budget impacts.

With the State economy remaining strong, spending affordability caps may again drive significant portions of next year’s projected budget surplus to one-time expenditures. Projects such as modernization and coordination of the Health Department’s information technology systems might qualify as ‘one-time expenditures’ and have long-term benefits to the efficiencies of the Department’s operations. Other similar ‘one-time’ investment opportunities should be identified and presented to the City legislative delegation and state officials for investment.