A funding dispute between Maryland Democrats and Gov. Larry Hogan could threaten the viability of a long-planned regional hospital complex that is supposed to improve health care and spur economic development in Prince George’s County, officials involved with the project say.

For the second year in a row, Hogan (R) has ignored a request for a $15 million operating subsidy for the county’s main hospital, which is being jointly run by Dimensions Healthcare and the University of Maryland Medical System as a precursor to the more expansive teaching facility.

Health-care officials say the funds are needed to keep Prince George’s Hospital Center functioning, which is an important component of getting the regional hospital approved by state regulators. John Ashworth, UMMS senior vice president of network development, called the subsidy “one of the cornerstones of making our financials work.”

The state agreed in 2011 to provide $15 million annually as part of the transition of the Prince George’s health-care system. But the agreement, negotiated during the administration of former governor Martin O’Malley (D), expired after Hogan took office last year.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., right, says he is frustrated by Gov. Larry Hogan’s unwilliness to include funds for a proposed regional hospital center in Prince George’s County. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Aides to Hogan said he is under no obligation to continue the subsidy — a stance that prompted state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) to sponsor legislation that would require the state to make the $15 million annual payments.

A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

“It didn’t have to be that way. . . . It should have been in the governor’s budget this year,” Miller said. “But since it wasn’t, we’re going to move forward.”

Miller said a regional teaching hospital is critically needed in Prince George’s, where residents suffer from higher rates of chronic disease and death than elsewhere in the Washington region. “We’re going to make it happen on behalf of the people, especially the people who need health care,” Miller said. “I guarantee it’s going to happen.”

The Maryland Health Care Commission, the state agency that approves health-care projects, has been reviewing the Prince George’s application for more than two years. One major step in the process is obtaining a positive recommendation from the Health Services Cost Review Commission, the state body responsible for setting hospital prices and capping annual spending.

In October, the commission sent a letter questioning the financial feasibility of the regional hospital project. That letter has triggered a protracted question-and-answer cycle with state officials over the costs, scope and size of the proposal.

Donna Kinzer, executive director of the commission, said the panel is committed to working out a solution with Dimensions, but that could mean modifying the size of the hospital plan. The two parties recently agreed to adjustments in financial projections and are negotiating the details.

The snail’s pace is frustrating for county officials. “They keep asking questions, we keep answering questions, and it’s a never-ending cycle,” said Thomas Himler, deputy chief administrative officer for County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D). “We are so close to the finish line that if everyone can get out of each other’s way, we can declare victory and move to a groundbreaking — and everything will be fine.”

Baker’s administration sent Hogan a new memorandum of understanding in October, but the governor has not signed it. Hogan further angered Baker and state Democratic leaders by including $27.5 million for the construction of the new hospital, even as he withheld the operating funds.

“If he doesn’t live up to his responsibility to make sure there is health care in Prince George’s, then the legislative body will step in,” said Baker, who is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party and a potential challenger to Hogan in 2018. “If this system goes down, it will be up to the state to deal with it.”

A spokesman for Hogan said the governor is in talks with Miller and Busch about the funding, although Miller says he has not had such a conversation with the governor.

“It’s disappointing that when they don’t get what they want when they want it, they enact more mandates,” Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer said.

The bills being sponsored by Miller and Busch would require a $15 million operating subsidy in fiscal 2017, 2018 and 2019, followed by $5 million each in fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021.

By that point, the new hospital is expected to be up and running. Its success, officials say, would depend in large part on luring doctors who prefer to work at larger hospitals elsewhere in the region, and attracting patients from Prince George’s and nearby areas who travel to the District, Montgomery County or elsewhere for medical care.

The regional hospital is an “incredibly important project” for Prince George’s County, Ashworth said. He said he hopes that the project will be approved in late spring or early summer.