It was shortsighted indeed for the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee to turn the state's back on the proposed $150 million expansion of the Baltimore Convention Center.
Over the past 15 years the center has amply demonstrated that it more than pays its way for capital improvements through the money it generates for the Baltimore economy. Reliable projections indicated that $4 would be returned in economic activity for every $3 spent on expanding the center. Refusing to expand at this critical time, therefore, is a little akin to an industry which imperils itself by lacking the will or the courage to expand at the proper time. And indeed, conventions and tourism have become a major industry in Baltimore -- an industry on which thousands of jobs depend directly or indirectly.
It is reassuring that Sen. Barbara Hoffman believes that the expansion of the Baltimore Convention Center "is not dead" and that the issue can still come up for reconsideration after Labor Day. When it does, we hope the vote will come down on the side of investment in progress, not standing pat.