by Annie Linskey
5:26 PM EST, January 9, 2012
Gov. Martin O'Malley will ask for $350 million in school construction funds in next year's budget, an increase of $40 million, according to a spokeswoman.
The governor will announce the funds Tuesday at morning event in Annapolis. He will be joined by House Speaker Michael E. Busch, who has been pushing for an aggressive capital budget to jolt construction jobs in the state.
The backdrop for the event will be familiar: Germantown Elementary School in Annapolis. During the 2006 campaign, O'Malley held a news conference at the school to pledge $1 billion in funding if he was elected. In the first term, he exceeded the promise and spent $1.3 billion on improving classrooms.
During last year's campaign O'Malley and Busch made a joint appearance there (in the scotching summer heat) to pledge an additional $1 billion in school construction spending over four years if voters picked O'Malley over Robert L. Ehrlich, the Republican former governor.
The $350 million that will be announched Tuesday will be an increase over the $311 million O'Malley dedicated to school construction last session.
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