Addressing keen taxpayer interest in how federal stimulus dollars will be spent, Gov. Martin O'Malley launched a Web site yesterday that uses high-tech mapping systems to show where the money will go in Maryland.
The state expects $3.7 billion from the stimulus package signed last week by President Barack Obama, including $1.6 billion for health and human services, $1.1 billion for education and $610 million for transportation projects. The Web site, www.recovery.maryland.gov, uses geographic information system technology and allows users to enter a home address to see how their communities benefit.
The program builds on StateStat, a computerized performance management system that monitors state agencies to identify where to achieve savings and better results, and GreenPrint, a computerized map of the state's environmentally valuable lands.
"I know there's not another state that's where we are with this," O'Malley said, taking an audience through a presentation of the new Web site's capabilities on a large screen in the conference room where he holds StateStat meetings. "To borrow a line from President Obama, we don't do ourselves any favors by hiding what we spend."
O'Malley, a Democrat, has already announced the first wave of transportation projects to be funded through the stimulus package, such as the purchase of hybrid buses and road resurfacing projects. He has also detailed how education funding would be spent. He said the Web site would be updated as decisions are made about how to spend the rest of the money.
A series of regional workshops for local government officials and the public has also been planned to explain how the money is being used and to strategize about how to compete for additional dollars.
Find a link to the state's stimulus fund map at baltimoresun.com/maryland. The state's stimulus Web site is recovery.maryland.gov