One thing the Maryland Assembly is busy doing is shoring up the capture of all public policy to appointed commissions that then are stacked with corporate appointees whose decisions always go to corporate profit against public interest. Montgomery County pushed legislation for a separate Transportation Commission for its VEOLA global corporate transit system taking the place of public transportation through MTA. Look, there is going to be public hearings after the bill enters the Maryland Assembly and the plans drawn and it is JOBS JOBS JOBS that they will use to sell this privatization. The number of temporary jobs is not worth ending public transportation. This will be coming to Baltimore next as Baltimore sends its K-12 privatized education platform to Montogomery County.
When I talk to Baltimore's pols about where these policies are going they simply say-----Montgomery County must know what they are doing----they are rich.
NO ONE WANTS TO LOSE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!
Montgomery County Releases New Details on Independent Transit Authority Proposed transit authority would be funded partially through a new county tax and is being planned to streamline the development of local projects that could lead to significant growth
by Andrew Metcalf
Montgomery County officials provided more details on the proposed public transit authority first pitched by County Executive Ike Leggett in his third inauguration speech in December, including how it would be funded and the transit projects it would be responsible for.
The Independent Transit Authority would be funded through a new “county transit tax” that would replace the current transit tax, which is paid by all county taxpayers, according to a fact sheet posted Friday afternoon on the county’s website.
The fact sheet described the tax as “a stable and reliable source of revenue for funding transit.” Other funding for the transit authority would come from the county’s capital budget, state and federal grants, private-sector contributions, fare revenues from public transit and parking lot district revenue.
The tax rate would be set by the Montgomery County Council. Patrick Lacefield, Leggett’s spokesman, said there’s no plan to raise the transit tax, but said, “We’re trying to deal with the fact that to push rapid transit forward, we need resources.”
The council would decide whether to raise the tax rate. “The taxing authority would stay just where it is now,” Lacefield said, “with the County Council.”
The new transit authority would focus on developing the planned Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) in the county; coordinate construction of transit projects such as the Purple Line with the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and the Maryland Transit Authority; maintain and run the county’s fleet of RideOn transit vehicles; and operate the county’s four parking lot districts.
The county executive would appoint members to the transit authority’s board of directors, but the County Council would have control over much of the decision-making, according to the fact sheet. The council would approve the authority’s capital project budget and confirm appointments to the authority’s board.
The county’s delegation of state legislators has submitted legislation to the General Assembly that would enable the county to set up the transit authority. Before the authority is approved, a “plethora” of public hearings will be scheduled so the community can offer input, according to Lacefield.
Lacefield said Leggett proposed the creation of a transit authority in order to streamline the process of developing rapid transit in the county, which could enable additional growth. Recent master plan approvals such as the White Oak Science Gateway have growth triggers that only allow for higher density development to take place if public transit is constructed, according to Lacefield.
“Certain places can only develop to their full extent if there’s transit,” Lacefield said. “Really what we’re talking about is increasing the tax base for the county and increasing the jobs. These projects have the potential to create the most jobs in a single swoop that have ever been created in the county. The revenue question works both ways. To get [rapid transit systems], are you going to have to spend money? Yes. But you have to spend money to make money.”
The new transit authority may be a way for the county to have a level of independence in infrastructure planning amidst what could be a sour political environment toward major transit projects in the state. Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed budget does include funding for the Purple Line, though he has expressed a desire to slim down the state budget and cut taxes.
In December, Hogan said his priority is to build roads and he later appointed Pete Rahn as his transportation secretary. Rahn is the former head of New Mexico’s Highway and Transportation Department, who Hogan introduced as “the best highway builder in the entire country.”
Meanwhile, County Council members including Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich and George Leventhal are urging the State Highway Administration to speed up the planning of bus rapid transit projects that are part of the Corridor Cities Transitway.
At a meeting of county officials in December, Berliner said the planning process for bus rapid transit systems in the county needs “to be driven by the sense of urgency” that county officials feel about the projects.
Editor's note: We've clarified that the ITA will plan several Bus Rapid Transit systems in the county, not just the Corridor Cities Transitway, as a comment below notes.
Now, Montgomery County are tying their school building to the bond market as Baltimore has. Notice, Baltimore is on its way to privatizing its public transportation with VEOLA so we have two major counties----both with heavily Democratic politicians privatizing two most Democratic and progressive services in American history-----transportation and schools. This is how you know Maryland pols are not Democrats----Montgomery County is land of Clinton Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals and Baltimore is home of Bush Wall Street global corporate neo-conservative politicians running as Democrats. Remember, these school bond deals clearly say----in case of problems the state will not lose money and will force all cost on Montgomery County and Baltimore----so when the economic crash from the collapsing bond market comes----these projects will default. Montgomery County may be wealthy enough to weather this crash----but Baltimore will go into bankruptcy.
The bill to move towards selective distribution of higher education loan funding moved forward----rather than having a pot of money from which students can seek degrees----Maryland Assembly is assigning what kinds of degrees get special treatment. We will be challenging all of this movement to select corporate education over humanities and liberal arts or any career a Maryland citizen wants to pursue. Remember the E-nnovation program that has corporations even funding chairs and deciding curricula and research done at public universities is being pushed this year---
Senate Bill 228----Supplemental Public School Construction Matching Fund Program----sponsored by King
Senate Bill 75----Task Force to Study a Program for Interest-Free Loans to STEM College Students
This is the bill that really bothered me----and of course it comes from Johns Hopkins via its senior neo-conservative politician-----Senator McFadden. This is a man giving his career to handing anything to Hopkins asked of him. You can see with these individual bills that access to higher education is being narrowed and education funding is geared strictly to maximizing profits of now corporate universities.
Senate Bill 2------Higher Education Investment Tax Credit Program.
Establishing the Higher Education Investment Tax Credit Program to authorize tax credits against the State income tax, public service company franchise tax, and insurance premium tax equal to 50% of the donation made to specified eligible higher education institutions; requiring the donations to be used for specified purposes in priority funding areas; authorizing, each year, the Maryland Higher Education Commission to allocate up to $20,000,000 in tax credits to eligible higher education institutions; etc.
Please take a minute to read this bill. It specifically states that corporations can 'donate' up to $25,000 to private universities and get1/2 as a tax deduction. Hopkins is now full-force into patenting as is the University of Maryland so these corporate donations are simply investors funding research for their next project. So, rather than have a research facility, MERCK PHARMA now uses Johns Hopkins as its research facility. It uses E-nnovation to tell Hopkins what product it wants and sends the money to set up the research facility and then it uses this Higher Education Investment Tax Credit to allow that same corporation to continue to fund the research until it is a marketable product. Once a marketable product----it buys the patent from Hopkins which maintains interest in the patent.
THERE'S A COMMISSION FOR ALL OF THIS----THE MARYLAND HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION DECIDES HOW $20,000,000 IS ALLOCATED ALL APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR.
How is this different from Egypt or Uzbekistan? There is no difference at all----people in those nations are not citizens either.
Merck to create institute, hire 150 in La Jolla
By Gary Robbins6 a.m.March 15, 2012Updated12:38 p.m.
The drug industry is showing another big sign of faith in San Diego County’s science community with a decision by Merck to spend up to $90 million on an institute in La Jolla that will try to find new ways to treat disease.
Merck will announce today that it plans to invest the money over seven years at the newly created California Institute for Biomedical Research, a private, nonprofit center to be led by Peter Schultz, a renowned chemist at The Scripps Research Institute.
Schultz plans to hire up to 150 scientists and staff members who will attempt to transform promising discoveries into potential drugs and treatments that could be brought to market by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Merck, which is among the world’s 10 largest drug companies, will have the right to exclusively option any potentially useful therapeutic developed by the center.
“This institute can serve a unique role in the San Diego area by capturing the terrific science going on here and translating it into new medicines,” said Schultz, who has founded eight biotech companies, including Ambrx.
The investment is counter-intuitive; most “Big Pharma” companies have been shifting money away from early stage to later-stage drug candidates that are close to clinical trials. Underwriting early research can hurt a company’s ability to pay for the testing needed to get a drug approved.
Even so, companies like Merck are under pressure to restock their drug pipelines, and they’ve increasingly turned to San Diego for help in crossing the “valley of death,” an industry phrase for bridging the gap between discoveries and new products. Many discoveries go no where simply because universities and institutes can’t raise money from industry for development --even though companies need new products.
Merck is about to lose patent protection on Singulair, an asthma drug that annually generates about $3.2 billion in sales. Bristol-Myers Squibb’s patent on the anti-platelet drug Plavix, which brings in $6.1 billion a year, also will expire this year. And Pfizer’s patent on Lipitor, which brought in more than $5 billion annually, expired in November, causing a steep drop in sales.
Pfizer has tried to prepare for the future by investing locally. The company entered a five-year, $100 million research partnership with The Scripps Research Institute in in 2006. Pfizer has since moved its money across the street, creating a collaboration with the University of California San Diego that will be worth up to $50 million. The partnership promotes “translational” work, research meant to shorten the time it takes get experimental drugs on to the market.
Last fall, Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to pay Ambrx at least $24 million for biologics it developed that might be useful in treating diabetes and heart failure. A short time later, Johnson and Johnson announced that it was turning part of its San Diego research center into an incubator for startup drug and medical device companies. The companies will pay rent, but gain access to labs and research equipment that they likely wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise.
IT IS COMPLETE TAXPAYER SUBSIDY OF CORPORATE RESEARCH. ALL THE TAXES A CORPORATION WOULD PAY IS SENT INSTEAD TO THESE RESEARCH AND JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS THAT USED TO BE THE CORPORATION'S OPERATING COSTS. MARYLAND'S UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES ARE NOW COMPLETELY CORPORATE WITH K-12 COMING ALONG AS CHILD APPRENTICESHIPS TO CORPORATIONS.
This uses not only all the tax revenue Maryland citizens pay that would go to public schools and universities -----it allows corporations to pay no taxes that are now going right back into that corporations own corporate operations. This is why there is no money for communities, public services, public programs, and public justice. All government functions are being rolled into appointed commissions sending money to corporate profit and Baltimore's pols are leading for Johns Hopkins. See why Baltimore is crumbling and has third world poverty?
For those around the nation following this blog-----this will be coming to your neck of the woods so keep it at bay as we reverse this takeover of our public universities, K-12, and equal opportunity and access education in Maryland!
McFadden in Baltimore is mirroring Obama's Federal tax credit to corporate research facilities. Hundreds of billions of dollars went to build these corporate university facilities while Obama cut $1 trillion dollars from Medicare and Medicaid to pay for it. There is no money to fund university financial aid for students beyond funding the career job training tracks through community colleges now Corporate Human Resource Departments. Where does McFadden send Baltimore City residents? Full tuition to Baltimore City Community College-----the lowest level of higher education to be found. All of this research funding is going to what will be increasingly expensive private and public universities where most citizens will not be able to afford to attend.
Notice with all the austerity to replace that $17 trillion dollars in national debt created by corporate fraud------nothing sent to subsidize the privatization of all that is public and maximizing corporate profits was cut.
Fiscal Cliff Deal Spares Higher Education Research Funding, Tuition Tax Credit
The Huffington Post | By Tyler Kingkade Posted: 01/02/2013 3:41 pm EST
Look below to see again where all of the money for higher education not tied to job training community colleges is going-----taxpayers are the working and middle-class and they are supporting all of the higher education for schools their children will not be able to attend. Don't worry----your taxes are subsidizing the job training programs that will keep your family tied to poverty jobs thanks to Baltimore City pols working for Johns Hopkins.
Taxpayer-Funded Aid Program Benefits Richer Students
by Jon Marcus Heckinger Report
January 1, 2014
Greg Noll balances his engineering major at Columbia University with a work-study job in the university’s fitness center, filling spray bottles, wiping sweat off the machines, and picking up towels for 20 hours a week at $9 an hour.
He uses the money for his living expenses—buying books and food and going out with friends on the weekends.
“I try to put some away, but it’s college,” Noll says. “Everyone here needs money, whether they come from better-off families and don’t have the money to live a life they’re used to, or don’t have money in general and are really just trying to live.”
This story also appeared in Washington Monthly
In fact, much of the more than $1 billion a year in federal taxpayer-funded work-study money is going to the children of better-off families at expensive private universities, and not their lower-income counterparts, under a 50-year-old formula those pricey universities are unlikely to willingly relinquish.
Nearly one in four work-study recipients come from families with incomes of more than $80,000 a year. Fewer than half meet the federal definition of financial need. The formula “disproportionately benefits the students who need it the least,” says Rory O’Sullivan, research and policy director at the youth advocacy organization Young Invincibles. “At a time of tight budgets, it doesn’t make sense. It should go to people who can benefit the most.”
Unlike other federal financial aid, the money for work-study isn’t allocated based on how many students at a university actually need it, but on how much the university got the year before, and how much it charges. That perpetuates a system under which universities that have been invested in work-study the longest, and have the highest tuition—largely, private nonprofits—are its biggest beneficiaries.
The result is that, today, nearly one in four work-study recipients comes from a family that earns more than $80,000 a year, a higher proportion than come from families that make less than $20,000, according to new figures from the U.S. Department of Education. Nearly half attend private, nonprofit universities and colleges. And fewer than half meet the federal definition of financial need.
Community colleges, large numbers of which were established after the work-study formula took root, enroll 30 percent of all students, including many who have comparatively low incomes. But they get only 16 percent of work-study money, according to the College Board. Fewer than 2 percent of community college students have work-study jobs.
By comparison, private, nonprofit institutions enroll only 17 percent of all students but get 40 percent of the funding.
Institutions receiving the largest amount of federal work-study money, 2011-12Berea College
$11,702,683City University of New York
$10,777,663 University of Southern California
New York University
University of Pennsylvania
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Source: U.S. Department of Education
“Colleges that got the money from the beginning keep getting the money,” says Debbie Cochrane, research director at the Institute for College Access and Success. “It doesn’t go where the low-income students go. It’s counterintuitive that we have a financial-aid program that is supposed to support students who are at precisely the schools we don’t give the money to.”
It’s not just community colleges that are losing out. Florida State University, for instance, gets less than one-fifth as much work-study money as Columbia—the most expensive higher-education institution in America, according to the Department of Education—even though Florida State is five times bigger and has a much higher proportion of low-income students, research at the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, found. Harvard gets 22 percent more work-study money than its proportion of students who meet the standard of financial need.
The disparity comes at the same time that colleges and universities are increasingly steering their own financial aid to students from wealthy families who also fall above the standard of financial need.
Several organizations, including Young Invincibles, are turning their attention to the issue of fairness in federal financial aid. The Senate Education Committee has begun holding hearings about it as part of the long process of updating guidelines for the system, which Congress is required to do periodically. Witnesses have urged the committee to make significant modifications to all financial aid.
But observers expect the universities and colleges that benefit from the work-study formula—and that also receive free and cut-rate labor through it—to lobby forcefully against any changes.
“I would be surprised if they didn’t,” O’Sullivan says. “Institutions certainly get a big benefit from having students work and having the federal government pay for it, so there’s an incentive to holding on to that money.”
Begun in 1964, work-study cost taxpayers just under $1.2 billion during the 2010-2011 academic year, the last for which the figure is available. The money went to 711,588 students, who earned an average of $1,642 each by working in dining halls and libraries and at other jobs on and off campus. Some of the cost of the students’ salaries is shared with the institution; in other cases, the government covers the full amount.
The importance to many students of work-study was further underscored when the program was reduced by about $50 million under the automatic spending cuts forced on all federal departments by sequestration after Congress and the president couldn’t agree on budget reforms. Some 33,000 students lost their work-study jobs this fall.
“That was a tremendous setback for students who really need it the most,”
says Sam Dotters-Katz, president of the student government at the University of Oregon, who says he’s aware of at least one on his campus who had to transfer to a less-expensive school as a result. “Federal work-study is one of the ways that low-income students can pay for college.”
Even though the program usually pays only minimum wage, “to those 33,000 students, it was probably a lot of money,” says Michelle Asha Cooper, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy.
Cooper says work-study, among other things, can improve the odds that low-income students eventually will earn degrees. That’s because it lets recipients make money without leaving the campus, and even study on the job—an advantage over the off-campus jobs held by increasing proportions of students that have been shown to slow down and derail the path to graduation.
Seventy-two percent of U.S. undergraduates work at least part-time while in school, most of them off campus, and one in five work 35 hours a week or more, the U.S. Census Bureau says.
Those students “are more focused on working than they are on studying,” cays Cooper. “The more they work to pay for school, the less well they do. If we enhance work-study, we can do a lot to improve their academic outcomes.”
Since the work-study program was established, “the world has changed,” says J. Noah Brown, president of the Association of Community College Trustees. Tuition has skyrocketed, putting higher education beyond the reach of many low-income students.
To help, the system needs to be revamped, Brown says.
“We need to find ways that we could use these things more effectively.”