ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — More reaction to the budget proposed by Governor Larry Hogan. The new governor wants to close the state’s deficit and roll back taxes at the same time.
Political reporter Pat Warren has more on the proposal.
Some of the biggest concerns are being voiced by the state employees’ union.
Putting the budget in the black.
“Marylanders didn’t feel very good about what we’d been doing. The status quo has not been acceptable,” said Gov. Hogan.
For now, the governor’s budget cuts are only on paper. But the plan still stings.
A two percent cut to state agencies will save $118 million. State workers will lose the raise they got in January at a savings of $156 million. A cut to funding that compensates areas where schooling costs more saves $143 million. Medicaid provider rates will back down to 2014 levels and save $210 million. And state aid to counties will be cut by $35 million.
Comptroller Peter Franchot voted for the two percent agency cut with Governor O’Malley on the Board of Public Works. He says the cuts to state workers are necessary.
“I think the basic message from former governor O’Malley and current governor Hogan is, look, just because we value our state employees and we value our state government doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for some reductions and some adjustments,” Franchot said. “It doesn’t mean that we’re against them. In fact, we’re trying to do something for them by putting the state on a sustainable budget that doesn’t ricochet from crisis to crisis.”
The governor expects Marylanders to appreciate that.
“Hopefully, it will have a great impact on their lives. Hopefully, they’ll feel that the state is getting back on track,” said Hogan.
The budget is now in the General Assembly, and members of the House of Delegates get first crack at it.
There will be weeks of discussion before a first vote is taken.
April 6 is the deadline to pass the budget in both the House and Senate.