Governor O'Malley Announces Deadline for Public Comment on Budget Cuts
Citizens encouraged to submit suggestions by August 10,2009
ANNAPOLIS, MD (August 5, 2009) –Governor Martin O’Malley today announced that the deadline for public comment on the State’s budget situation is August 10, 2009, and encouraged members of the public to submit their suggestions before it’s too late. Thousands of comments have already been submitted on the website, which can be found by going to www.maryland.gov.
“Two weeks ago, I encouraged all Marylanders to submit their suggestions on how to find additional savings and make our government more efficient. To date, we have received thousands of suggestions from Marylanders across our State on how to move our state forward,” said Governor O’Malley. “I want to thank everyone, especially those state employees who have offered suggestions, to help guide us through this economic downturn. We are currently in the process of looking through all of these suggestions. We are categorizing them and will be sharing them with the appropriate state agencies to review – and so I am asking that for any citizen that hasn’t done so already to submit their comments online by Monday, August 10th.”
The website, which also outlines the latest budget cuts, highlights the impact of the national recession on Maryland, and compares Maryland’s fiscal circumstances to other states, invites members of the public to submit their comments using a form at the bottom of the page.
Some of the suggestions received so far include:
- “Why not encourage more telecommuting and working from home for state employees? With Blackberries and laptops issued to many workers, why not encourage certain days of the week to be "Work-from-home" days? The state would save on facility and energy costs and workers would enjoy the flexibility, and maybe even could let go of some of their personal/sick time in exchange.” (Baltimore City)
- “Go paperless where possible. Save on paper and postage.” (Baltimore)
- “Stop spending so much money on beautifying the median strips along the state highways and let the grass grow longer. Also, eliminate the use of credit cards by state employees. Go back to the old way of having expense accounts that have to be approved.” (Anne Arundel)
Last month, the Board of Public Works unanimously approved more than $280 million in FY10 budget reductions, a step in addressing a projected budget shortfall of more than $700 million for Fiscal Year 2010. These actions will bring the total amount of reduced spending and budget cuts under the O’Malley-Brown Administration to $4 billion. Last month’s cuts combined with planned reductions bring the FY10 Operating Budget below $13 billion, representing the first known incidence of General Fund declines for three straight years in state history.