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State Chamber of Commerce, lawmaker recommend delaying Thornton formula

The Thornton formula for funding Maryland's public education system came under increased pressure yesterday as the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and the Senate's minority leader suggested delaying its implementation.

Staking out a new position, the chamber adopted a resolution yesterday calling for the General Assembly to substitute a funding mechanism tied to the rate of the state's revenue growth. Chamber President Kathy Snyder said that while education is important, "the state does not have the money" to fund it at $1.3 billion by 2008, as called for in current law.

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The chamber reaffirmed its position favoring slot machines as a source of revenue for public education.

Senate Minority Leader J. Lowell Stoltzfus told a chamber legislative forum that he will introduce legislation to stretch out the spending increases through a different mechanism.

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The Eastern Shore Republican said a bill he is having drafted would extend the deadline for full implementation of Thornton - a formula adopted in 2002 without an identified funding source - for four years.


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