Reporting Derek Valcourt
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — After crunching the numbers, Governor Martin O’Malley unveiled his proposal for the state’s 2014 budget.
Derek Valcourt has more on how the numbers add up.
Governor O’Malley says this year’s budget is all about creating jobs–43,000 jobs to be exact, jobs supported by $3.7 billion in capital investments for rebuilding Maryland’s roads, schools, bridges and other projects.
“If there’s one thing that this economic downturn has reminded all of us is the truth that there is no economic progress without a job,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.
And the governor says this budget does it all while being fiscally responsible. It includes $325 million in spending cuts and reduces the state’s structural deficit by $318 million, but it does increase the state’s rainy day fund an extra percentage point — to $921 million this year — and it puts aside $1.5 billion in cash reserves–a move the governor says is necessary considering the current climate and gridlock in Washington, where it’s difficult to predict what Congress will do with the nation’s debt ceiling debate and how spending cuts could affect Maryland.
“For those that would try to mess with our credit in the debt ceiling as some sort of political football, I think are doing damage in a gratuitous and unnecessary way to the progress of our nation in recovering jobs,” said O’Malley.
The budget also provides for record spending on education. In fact, it gets 47 cents on every state general fund dollar spent in Maryland. The next highest chunk–25 percent –goes to health spending. Public safety gets 11 cents on every dollar and 17 cents goes to everything else.
One thing not in the governor’s new budget: any new revenues. That will all hinge on the General Assembly.