Governor Outlines $454 Million in Budget Cuts
Governor renews commitment to protecting schools, Maryland families
ANNAPOLIS, MD (August 25, 2009) – Governor Martin O’Malley outlined more than $450 million in budget reductions that will be presented to Maryland’s Board of Public Works tomorrow. These actions are the second step in addressing a projected budget shortfall of more than $700 million for Fiscal Year 2010, and bring the total amount of reduced spending and budget cuts under the O’Malley-Brown Administration to over $4.3 billion.
“These are not easy decisions. Just as families, businesses, and individuals across Maryland struggle to find ways to tighten their belts, our state government must do more with less,” said Governor O’Malley. “Our citizens expect and deserve a government that works, and in spite of the most severe recession in a generation we’ve been working to reform our State government to make more efficient and effective.”
Governor O’Malley, joined earlier today by Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and Maryland Secretary of Budget and Management Eloise Foster, made public the details of a plan to reduce the budget by more than $450 million. These budget actions focus on over $210 million in reductions to local aid a furlough and salary reduction plan for state employees, and reductions to state agencies, protecting entirely investments made in Maryland public schools. General fund support for public education has increased nearly $700 million since FY07, while spending for the remainder of the Operating Budget has decreased more than $1 billion.
Budget reductions to be presented to the Board of Public Works include $17 million in savings from the elimination of over 360 state positions, including 205 filled positions. The furlough and salary reduction plan, estimated to save approximately $75 million, prevents the layoff of about 1,500 additional state employees.
In July, over $280 million in budget actions were unanimously approved by the Board of Public Works. These cuts represent the first incidence in at least thirty years that state spending will be less than it was three years ago.
Despite historically challenging economic times, Maryland remains poised to come through this national recession more quickly than other states. Maryland is home to one of America’s most highly skilled workforces, holds an unemployment rate consistently 20 percent below the national average, and is one of only seven states to defend a highly coveted Triple A bond rating.