By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun
5:37 PM EDT, March 12, 2013
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said Tuesday that legislative leaders are working to overhaul Baltimore’s proposal for a $2.4 billion plan to rebuild its crumbling school facilities in way that he’s “fairly confident” will win General Assembly approval.
Miller, a Calvert County Democrat, had been one of the chief skeptics about the original plan propounded by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and city schools chief executive Andres Alonso. That proposal, involving a block grant of at least $32 million to the city school system each year for 30 years, has been embraced by House Speaker Michael E. Busch, an Anne Arundel County Democrat.
Last week, Miller said he believes the House will in some way link passage of Baltimore school construction bill to approval of a transportation revenue package that he supports But the Senate chief insisted that the revised schools plan – which he said is still being negotiated at the staff level – must protect the interests of every jurisdiction in the state.
“I promise you if it is passed – and I think it will be – it will be fair,”
Miller said. He said the main obstacle is what he called “the extremes” – those who want state resources with no checks and balances.
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