Dear Marylanders,

Thank you for visiting our website.  And thank you for taking the time to offer suggestions on how we can continue to reform our state government to make it more accountable and efficient. 

Over the last few weeks, we have received thousands of suggestions from individuals and families throughout our State, and I invite you to take a look at these suggestions and offer your comments and feedback.   Each suggestion has been forwarded to the appropriate state agency for review and consideration; and I have asked that all state agencies respond to all suggestions by September 15.

During the last two years, we have made real progress together to improve our quality of life in Maryland – even as we have weathered one of the most severe economic recessions in our nation’s history.   Together, we have chosen to restore fiscal responsibility, reducing the size of government while reforming long-neglected state agencies so that they can more effectively provide critical services to the people of our State.

We know that Maryland is not immune from the national recession, but the choices we've made to restore fiscal responsibility in Annapolis have largely protected our State from the types of nightmare scenarios in other states.

While we have protected our historic investments in public education, California, for example, has cut over $11.6 billion to K-12 education, and more than 25,000 teachers have already lost their jobs.  And while we've protected state employees from massive layoffs, states like South Carolina, for example, has already laid off more than 1,500 employees in the past year.

Make no mistake about it – our state government is smaller today than it was when we took office; yet the progress we have made together reforming our state government is undeniable.  Together, we have protected our core priorities of education, public safety, the environment, and we are working to protect the most vulnerable families among us.   Looking ahead, we will continue to protect these priorities to secure that better, stronger future we envision for our children and to position our State for economic growth and recovery.

While this will not be easy, we cannot afford to use the recession as an excuse for neglecting to move our State forward.  I invite you to join our continuing dialogue at our online discussion forum as we continue to reform our state government, making it both more effective and more efficient. 

- Martin O'Malley

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Notable Cost Saving Actions

  • $75 M due to enhanced federal Medicaid match
  • $34 M from reductions in Medicaid payments to hospitals, nursing homes, managed care organizations, & other health care providers
  • $40 M of higher education savings related to USM, Morgan, and aid to private colleges
  • $3 M (20%) reduction to stem cell funding leaves $12.4 million
  • $10 M from assigning interest earned on special fund balances to general fund
  • $5.5 M cut from lottery advertising budget

More Efficient Government

  • Close State Police print shop ($200,000)
  • Renegotiate office space leases & reduce leased space ($3 M)
  • Rebid State Energy Contracts ($2.5 M)
  • Reduce or eliminate spending on various state contracts ($5.8 M)
  • Reduce use of high cost drugs in State hospitals when equally effective less expensive alternatives are available ($1.2 M)
  • Cancel encumbrances from FY 2008 & Prior Years ($10 M)
  • Reversions from Judiciary ($3.5 M) and General Assembly ($3 M)
  • Abolish 39 filled and 18.5 vacant positions
Office of Governor

How other states are dealing

NGA: The Fiscal Survey of States

California

  • Recently agreed to $15 billion dollars in cuts to face the state’s $26.3 billion budget hole.
  • Cuts to K-12 education of more than $6 billion dollars over two years, following $11.6 billion dollars in prior year cuts.
  • More than 27,000 teachers have been laid off with the potential for 25,000 more next year.
  • Cuts of nearly $3 billion dollars from the University of California and California State University systems.
  • Borrowed more than $4.7 billion dollars from California’s local governments.
  • Three mandatory furlough days per month for all state employees.

South Carolina

  • Layoffs of more than 1,500 South Carolina state employees.
  • Cut higher education by nearly $100 million dollars.
  • Decreased K-12 education spending by $95 per student.
  • Unemployment at 12.1% in June 2009.

Rhode Island

  • Faced with a budget gap equal to 20% of all state spending.
  • Increased tuition at state colleges by more than 10%.
  • Raised the gas tax by 2 cents per gallon.

Florida

  • Faced a $5.7 billion dollars in budget cuts.
  • Raised tuition at all Florida public universities by 15% in one year and cut over 350 faculty and staff.
  • Cut K-12 education by over $465 million.
  • Eliminated more than 90 positions at the FL Department of Law Enforcement.