A Thursday vote saw Senators pass Senate Bill 12 requiring more State construction projects to include public art. The legislation sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Delores Kelley (District 10 – Baltimore County) came at the request of the Maryland Department of Commerce. With the legislation, it’s believed that a meaningful positive effect on the demand for public art will be created and subsequently public spaces will be both more approachable and profitable.
Currently Maryland law requires the inclusion of public art for projects receiving all of their funding from the State. Under this legislation, the bill would extend that requirement to projects that receive at least 50% of their funding from the State and are not funded as a legislative bond initiative in the capital budget. The bill also expresses clear intent that the costs associated with the public art not increase the overall cost of the construction project.
Agreeing to amendments passed by the House of Delegates, the Senate now sends the legislation to the desk of Governor Hogan to be approved or vetoed. If a bill is presented to the Governor during the legislative session, the Governor has 6 days to sign the bill, veto it, or let it go into effect without his signature. The 2019 General Assembly Session adjourns at midnight on Tuesday, April 9th.