ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — More than $1.5 billion. That’s the budget deficit Maryland is facing, and the governor is coming up with big cuts to fix it.

Weijia Jiang explains how these budget decisions could impact your life.

Listening to angry Marylanders who lashed out against his administration for raising taxes in 2007, Governor Martin O’Malley is proposing deep cuts to balance the budget–undeniably frustrated by the task.

More than 80 percent of every dollar would go to “priorities like education, health, and public safety. That’s 87 percent. The other 13 is everything else,” said O’Malley.

In his proposal, $430 million of the transportation trust fund and capital budget would be transferred for day-to-day use. State Medicaid would be trimmed by $250 million. State employees who have agreed to a buyout would save $40 million. The city and county governments will do with $60 million less, and changes in the pension plan for state workers would save another $100 million.

“These are people who make $25-40,000 dollars a year, not big bankers,” said Patrick Moran, director of AFSCME Maryland. “That’s who they’re going to punish? That’s wrong.”

While the governor focuses on cuts, some other lawmakers hope to pass tax hikes on gas and alcohol.

“The consumer would feel it, businesses would feel it, quite honestly the state would feel it,” said Christopher Hannan, Bo Brooks co-owner.

Restaurateurs like Hannan say a-dime-a-drink increase would lead to less consumption and less tax revenue overall.

Drivers say a higher tax at the pump isn’t the answer either.

“Anytime gas goes up, it affects peoples’ ability to work, get to work, their overall financial position ,” said Jason Bhattacharya, driver.

Wherever the money comes from, there’s a $1.6 billion gap to fill with plenty of factors in the mix.

“The biggest variable that affects the choices is how quickly our economy recovers,” O’Malley said.

For the first time in three years, the governor is not proposing furlough days for state employees.

Comments (43)
  1. Ronald G Miner Jr says:

    Here is an idea Owe Malley…STOP SPENDING…I saw an article today the state’s unions are still pressuring the state for PAY HIKES…No no no…Cut the social programs, cut the money you send to groups like Casa de Maryland, STOP BUYING VOTES…Stop subsidies and entitlements, stop allowing ILLEGALS from receiving tax payer handouts…get rid of the illegals to lower the burden on the states infrastructure..Of course you will do none of this because then you and your party MIGHT lose a few seats in Assapolis…

    1. Jerry says:

      I strongly agree with Ronald.

  2. frank coffee says:

    He’s the main problem that put us in this situation. Has he ever vetoed a spending bill as Mayor or Governor ? We need to do less with less,just as we do with our own household budgets,in these times.

    1. Fred says:

      Frank, Frank, Frank. Even the most die-hard economic conservatives among us will cry like a baby if they have to make any sacrifices whatsoever to their bubbly standard of living. Spending? Show me a household without a big screen tV that also isn’t griping about their BGE bill going up. 2008=09 Americans spent 7 billion dollars on potato chips alone, And you want me to take this debate seriously? Yea, hold your breath.

      1. John says:

        Fred, I’ll show you a household. My family still has a tube tv.

      2. Tony says:

        Yea what hole did this guy crawl out of. I still own and use a 19″ tube tv. Still ride a 2002 used Honda Civic and haven’t bought new clothes in years. Seriously!

  3. Jerry says:

    I have a an idea for Owe Malley. Stop spporting the meth centers, cause all your doing is helping people who 9x ot of 10 go out commit a crijme to get high any how. For example i witnessed a person who just came out of a meth center got in a fight and was arrested in Baltimore county. So why take money from people who need it and give to repeate offenders. WAKE UP BEFORE YOU SEND THE STATE INTO BANKRUPSY.

  4. Cesar Chavez says:

    RG…too bad your immigrant ancestors didnt miss the boat over here..then we wouldnt have to deal with your ignorant self

    1. Shirlee says:

      Well Cesar–I STRONGLY agree with RG–and my grandparents were on a boat–but they did not come here expecting a handout of any kind–they came here to work and had their papers–get the damn ILLEGALS the hell out of this country–fed up with them—key wird–illegal–and WHY are we giving illegal immigrants social security and healthcare when we cant take care of the CITIZENS of this country–explain that one CESAR—way to go RG!

  5. Jerry says:

    Cesar take a look at how many illeagles have been sent back for drug and other crimes. Another thing when my family came to America we had to learn the English languge not the Americans learn the Polish languge plus we came to the country legaly not hide from athorities.. Also the Spanish have their own option when you call for information . Waste of more tax payer money, so stop calling people ignorant.

  6. JDR says:

    Strongly agree with Ronald and Jerry

  7. Shirlee says:

    Where is Bob Ehrlich????????????????

    1. HMGB says:

      There it is, where is Bob Ehrlich????? Everyone who is complaiing probably voted fro him, but what about everyone else. He lost big, bigger than anyone expected because of the Owe’Malley machine and he wasn’t a good candidate!!!! Where is our hero…we need one to step forward and stop the madness.

  8. lenny says:

    where is bob ehrlich when you need him

    1. fed up marylander says:

      Where is Bob Ehrlich??? because a bunch of idiots wouldn’t vote for him thats why he’s missing,and he was voted him out last time REMEMBER, nobody wanted him 4 years ago they all wanted this idiot!!, now look what we got, be careful what you ask for you may not like what you get; well here it is!!!

  9. Rocket Scientist says:

    Here is an option that I am certain applies to other state run organizations or insititions. Stop the frivolous spedning and the allowance of exorbant salaries and expenditures of individuals in the hierachy of these places. Case in point, Baltimore City Community College. The president of this college mandates that there be off site meetings twice a year at a separate venue. The cost of just one of these gatherings surpass what most of its employess make in their gross yearly salary. These assemblies could be held on campus instead of pilfering these funds just to satisfy their own domineering yearnings. The little man has been furloughed and informed that raises are a thing of the past but prima donnas and scratch my backers abound as they profit off of our sufferage. Who’s minding the store O’Malley? Is there no monitoring to be done of these self gratifying heads and their Board of Directors that run rampant with these monies? We are told that we all need to do our part but enough is enough. This is just one example at one organization that benefits from state funding. Its own faculty attempted to vote the president from office but to no avail.Their results were disregarded by none other but the Board of Directors. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Turning a blind eye to an obvious problem is utterfly disgraceful whilst the little man’s eye is blackened. Stop the squandering of these funds from these people in high positions and maybe the everyday worker may not feel the lack of confidence in their political system that was expected to be fair and intuitive.

  10. lwfpe2 says:

    If they stop paying the bills of the illegals, to the tune of 1.4 billion dollars from 2009, that would only leave .6 billion dollard to have to try and budget. What part of the election that was held in November saying no more spending! Not one penny should be paid out to illegals. Stop giving tax payer monies out to illegals instead of using tax payer monies to pay legitimate bills. If the people on death roll have their death penalties and they have been judged by confession, video, or DNA evidence why are we paying for keeping them around for the rest of their natural lives when given the dealth penalty. Tax monies are paying for everything for them. There are people in Maryland who need help in many areas, but you have doctors running off to a foreign country to perform sugeries to help the needy there. What about the man in Pocomoke who needs surgery, but the doctors won’t touch him because he is Medicaid, but they will give away their services and equipment so that they will show up in the paper as contributing time and equipment in a foreign country, etc. The poor State Employee has been asked to sacrifice time and time again the past few years. Cutting salaries of the Governor and the Assembly, Directors of Department would be a start, In these times of economic woes, the average person on the street has have to stop spending to get by, why should not the State have to take the same measures.

  11. Barbara Ambrose Pawloski says:

    Owe’Malley has been the big spender…he continues to spend while state workers have not seen a merit increase in 3 years. I guess we’ll go another year without an increase. And now he’s talking about revising the pension system…some of us have already put off retirement for 5 or more years. Now we’ll just end up dying at our desks. He should cut all salaries from every member of the assembly, the lieutenant governor (what the heck do we need that position for I’ll never know) and his own. Maybe these guys should try to live on $40k or less a year for a while to see how the rest of the state lives.

    1. fed up maylander says:

      Barb look at the prescription plan for retirees he wants, just sign your retirement over to the state, the cost is terrible just like medicare D plan

  12. William Lang says:

    I agree with all that feel illegals are at fult. Get them out and we will be ok so PLEASE OMALLY GET THEM THE HELL OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! they are killing use sowly

  13. Sick of the BS says:

    While the cuts are needed with department heads and members of the general assembly making such outrageous salaries, the other problem with state government is that there are so much spending on government waste. Did you see the FOX 45 story? A quarter of a million dollars that is being spent for 11 state employees that are working in a 16,000 sq. feet of office space. Most of that space is just being used for storage but the state has a warehouse in Jessup to keep the junk. O’Malley…you need to fire some people and you need to get rid of Kenderdine of the Retirement agency. He is a joke.

  14. who care says:

    my husband cant find a job because they would rather hire someone they can pay less. get them out so we can give the people who need it more like the people who have lived here their whole lives.

  15. Eddie says:

    Democrat Tax and Spend Mentality Has Not Changed First thing that needs Cut in Hard times are the Salerys of Upper Gov They are the largest Draw start at the Top OWE Malley Give the Little Guy a break Stop Taxing Businesses out of the state So People Can have Jobs Cut the Dole to the Multi Generational Abusers Who have no desire to work Look around Food Stamps Wix Cards Cell Phones Houseing Vouchers and Driveing a Cadilac EsCalade Whats Wrong with That Picture

  16. rick says:

    At least O’Malley is honest. Ehrlich was and is a snarky character hiding under a bad toupee, getting free airtime on WBAL to campaign, deriding mult-culturalism as “bunk:,shilling for the big oil companies,robo calls and on and on and on.. Oh yeah, and he brought that fool Michael Steele to national prominence and we see how that worked out.. Marylanders were wise not give Ehrlich another chance(the election wasn’t even close).

    1. Eddie says:

      Politician And Honest Two words id never put together Atleast We had a Balanced Budget Hey Wait wasnt there a Surplus Opps Then Owe Malley Got ahold of it Poof ALL GONE Deficet time Humm WONDER Where the Money Went DEMOCRAT Tax and Spend Look at History Look How he Left Baltimore Humm Guess Some Are Blind To What happens when they Believe The Guy they Voted in is Best

  17. PC says:

    I agree – get rid of the illegals yes ILLEGALS – part of my family was here first – the rest came legally and LEARNED THE LANGUAGE AND RESPECTED THE LAWS AND TRADITIONS. Next tell the muslems to assimilate or go back where they came from same for ANYONE else who refuses to respect (yes respect) our Christian based Society (read yes read our founding Fathers and Mothers diaries you morons). Balance the budget for once – taxes were meant to be a small amount of what we earned – try a flat rate for all. GET RID OF HALF THE STATE EMPLOYEES (I worked many years for the government and became disgusted by the lazy attitude I SAW by the majority of employees – the stories I WOULD LOVE TO TELL – MEDIA? just ask me I am not afraid anymore to tell the truth. BE HONEST OWE MALLEY would be refreshing …. I’ll bet I am not the only person disgusted by the double speak, backroom antics, seemingly outright lies and daily waste that would land any “common” citizen in JAIL. I can thank you though – this experience turned my children into hardened conservatives (one is at a point where he makes the Tea Party look like card carrying members of the ACLU – I could not be more proud!!!!) – This state is creating by its antics an emerging group of young people who I hope will destroy the socialist ideals once and for all and allow capitalism to do what it does best – build REAL WEALTH (that thing that built this country – read for yourselves folks – quit listening to sound bits from people with agendas – read, ask real questions, demand honest answers, hold people accountable). Thank you founding Fathers and Mothers for the right to speak my mind – I fear this too is slipping away by OWE MALLEY and his type – remember FREEDOM IS NOT FREE – it has to be earned and carefully maintained – WAKE UP AMERICA…..

  18. Dale says:

    You are all correct in your analysis of the current and true conditions. We all know that if O’ malley made this plan of budget balancing public he would not have been elected.We need to do more .Be more proactive and start calling your state and county office buildings and reporting known illegals and also follow-through by making sure that a plan of action WILL be taken We can also call the govorner’s mansion and write letters and e-mail. Force the hand of your officials if need be.I agree with all of these points however,I am not satisfied
    to just blog about it. GET ACTIVE!, before abigger mess is made.

  19. Mark says:

    Would you expect anything less from the worst governor the state has ever seen? “Moving Maryland Forward” Right off a cliff!!!

  20. David says:

    After looking @all the comments i have to say i agree with most of them O’malley is moving maryland backwards. I am a state employee and work damn hard @ my job and I make less than 24,000.00 a year this state has to cut the pay of the big wigs and give it to the working grunt in the trenches. The ones who are here illegaly need to stop getting hand-outs learn the how to speak american and just get legal. Ronald,Jerry and PC are right in what they say.

    1. Owings Mills says:

      No wonder you only make $24,000 a year. There is no such language as American. We speak English genius.

      1. PC says:

        Owings Mills – first off, American IS a version of the Queen’s English and is recognized as such (You are definitely NOT a mensa card holder yourself). Secondly, since the starting salary for government workers is far less than 24K and you have no idea as to Davids situation (time on the job etc.) it is very nasty to make assumptions without facts. I might as well assume that you are the typical liberal who is clueless and unable to grasp any concept except those told to you. Please try to think a little before you open your mouth (might find it refreshing and easier than you imagine). Original thoughts are far better than simply listening and believing others – as Ronald Reagan said “trust but verify.”

      2. HMGB says:

        You are wrong, PC is right. We speak American here which is our own version of English…another example of America Exceptionalistm. That same doctrine that the progressives are trying to tear down!

    2. GetItRight says:

      Amen! No support for illegal. They are illegals.

      1. NoIllegals says:

        Politicians need to go over to homedepot or langley park to see the ugly scene of illegals standing all over on the streets. round them up and send
        them back. Ugly scenes.

  21. rick says:

    I’m hoping that Scott Donahoo runs for mayor.

  22. Back to Basics says:

    You all are so ingnorant ,both Democrat and republicans, we have to fix the economy. You al,l need to go back and review your ECON 101 and leave the politcs out of it. Our politicans will do what they do. Repblicans favor Wallstreet, Dems favor spending and taxes. Either way its a no win. “WE THE POEPLE” have to make it happen. Go back and review your economics and then comment intelligently on how “WE” need to fix it. I know its tough and everyone is angry about something or someone, that does not help either.

    1. PC says:

      back to basics – I am neither a Rep or a Dem – never assume you usually are wrong and while everyone is angry it seems very few people know or understand the facts. Econ 101 is BS – theory never works in reality.

  23. Dan says:

    We should bring back “Irish need not apply” signs, because according to everyone on here, illegal immigration is the answer to EVERY problem in the world. I love how people try to cover up their racism. Its ok everyone, just don’t talk to the scary latinos people and they may not eat your babies…but be careful they have been known to cast spells by using their crazy foreign language (which derived from Latin, which is pretty much a solid provider to the english language).

  24. Ithinkitisagreatideas says:

    5% salary cut from the top. All the way from the top. 10% spending cut across the board, specially those spend most of the money on travel. Freeze salary change when uping the title. This will reduce management and others to play games on salary increase by changing the title. If this is not enough, lay off those employees call in sick more than 1%. If this is not enough, raise durable good tax (not food of course), such as electronics. How does it sound!!!

  25. Sheila Flanigan says:

    Bag the big Green Bag their salaries and the politicos that create the “make work” positions. Owe Malley you need to be gone like the states money.

  26. Justin says:

    Everyone wants to blame this, that, the other thing. Illegals? Seriously? This problem is bigger than the logjam in the immigration offices. While I agree that they shouldn’t have rights in this country until gaining legitimate citizenship (sorry, but we all earned ours and still have problems getting aid), that is not the primary issue. This is about a need for the top 1% to cut THEIR budgets by AT LEAST half. Paper monkeys making 35k a year taking furloughs isn’t doing a damn thing. Taxing isn’t working, because the money goes right back out the door. I guess it’s true, “WELCOME TO MARYLAND… now BEND OVER”

  27. hadit says:

    How about this for savings, the girl at the grocerty store talking about her lavishing cruise she is headed on and the special meat her boyfriend request for his work lunch, while paying for her 250. groc (I looked in her basket and could only dream of filling my house up with food like that) Yea I was some what jealous I have kids that like to eat, I have a husband who would like nice meats in his lunch then I found out what I was missing, the food card she had. Yea I dont get one of those or the cruise or the good lunches.

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