ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Gov. Larry Hogan has outlined the specifics in his cost-savings plan to cut 2 percent from state agencies across the board, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press on Friday outlining the specifics.
Hogan included the spending reductions in his January budget proposal to address a deficit he inherited. The Legislature approved them. However, the incoming Republican governor waited to name the specific reductions to give his new administration more time to find savings.
Details of the planned cuts come in the same week the state reported that it ended the last fiscal year with a higher-than-expected budget balance of about $295 million, largely from $214 million in higher state revenues on income taxes. Still, Maryland faces a budget deficit in future years, David Brinkley, Hogan’s budget secretary, wrote in a letter announcing the cuts.
“The reality of our financial situation requires us to find ways to work together in order to curb long-term spending and protect the interests of taxpayers,” Brinkley wrote.
Overall, the 2-percent reductions add up to about $118 million, but the administration went over its goal by more than $2 million.
For the most part, the plan nips and tucks across state agencies and offices, with state employee salary savings being found by holding open vacant positions for as long as possible and replacing others at lower pay.
Here is a look at some of the larger ways the administration found the savings:
About $18.2 million in savings comes from the University System of Maryland. They include 40 layoffs, including 15 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and 25 at Coppin State University. In addition, 127 vacant positions in the system will be eliminated.
About $10.8 million in the budget outline reflects additional Rate Stabilization Revenues as part of the health department’s provider reimbursement program. The department also saves $442,000 by eliminating a grant to the University of Maryland Medical System for the Montebello Rehabilitation Center at Kernan Hospital to support 50 percent of annual debt service on bonds issued in 2004.
About $5.6 million will come from reduced funding to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to reflect continued decline in the inmate population. Another $6 million comes from savings due to currently high vacancy rates. About $1.9 million comes from savings in maintenance, overtime and other costs associated with the closure of the Baltimore City Detention Center.
About $3 million will be saved by abolishing 82 vacant positions at the Maryland Department of Human Resources.
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