Maryland’s HBCUs Receive $577 Million in Lawsuit Settlement
In the final closing days of the 2020 Maryland General Assembly, one major piece of legislation that given a high priority for the fifty-eight members of Maryland Legislative Black Caucus finally passed, just before the early adjournment due to the Coronavirus, COVID-19. The passage of HB-1260/SB-1043 resolved thirteen years of ongoing litigation between Maryland’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBU); Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore versus the State of Maryland.
The legislation established a special fund category within the State’s Annual Budget and dedicated $577 million dollars over a ten year period if the legal matter is settled by December 1, 2020. Beginning in fiscal year 2022, each HCBU can use the funding in several areas such as; new academic programs, scholarships, new faculty members/faculty development and a robust marketing plan to attract new students.
Senator Obie Patterson of District 26, Prince George’s County, co-sponsor of this legislation and was appointed by the President of the Senate to serve as the key Floor Speaker of the HBCU legislation before the full Senate body. The State Senate unanimously passed the legislation.