The Washington Times - May 11, 2011, 03:31PM

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley reversed field Wednesday and restored more than $1 million in scholarships whose elimination he proposed months earlier.

The Democratic governor issued an order restoring scholarships for 350 graduating high-school seniors in the state’s Distinguished Scholars program, hours after The Baltimore Sun ran a story profiling a student who was chosen for the award but learned last week she would not receive it.

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The program awards $3,000 a year for four years to exemplary in-state students who attend Maryland colleges.

Mr. O’Malley proposed cutting the awards for this year’s graduating high-school seniors as part of his proposed $34-billion state budget, released in January. The reduction was also included in the final budget, approved in April by the General Assembly.

The cuts would not have affected current college students already enrolled in the program, which is run by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Representatives for the governor said Wednesday he was not aware that new scholarship recipients had already been chosen, and sought to have the funds restored as soon as he learned that was the case.

“While this year’s budget deficit presented unique challenges, and we worked together to address the revenue shortfall with tough choices and deep cuts to existing programs, it was never our intention to impact prior awards,” Mr. O’Malley said in a statement.