WASHINGTON - The Maryland Capital Debt Affordability Committee on Monday raised the state's debt ceiling to 4% of total personal income from 3.2%, a ratio that has not been increased since the 1970s, in response to growing funding needs for school construction, according to state finance officials.

Patti Konrad, director of debt management with the state treasurer's office, said the decision to increase the ceiling has been two years in the making and is necessary because of school construction needs that have pushed the state close to bumping up against the 3.2% mark.

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