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O'Malley Hints at Employee Furloughs

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) last night confirmed his plans to propose another round of mid-year budget cuts next month, suggesting the reductions could total about $200 million.

Appearing on Maryland Public Television, O'Malley offered few specifics but strongly hinted that employee furloughs would be part of the mix.

"Furlough days could well be a part of that," O'Malley told host Jeff Salkin on the debut of a regularly scheduled "Ask the Governor" program.

O'Malley considered but postponed the consideration of furloughs two months ago, the last time he came to the Board of Public Works with a round of mid-year budget cuts. At the time, O'Malley said another round of cuts would likely be needed in December.

Maryland is facing a budget shortfall of more than $1 billion next fiscal year, which begins in July. Cuts proposed next month are intended primarily to keep the current year's budget in balance but could help narrow next year's gap as well.

Like other states across the country, Maryland is experiencing a sharp dropoff in anticipated tax collections in the sluggish economy. Collections of the sales tax and personal income tax, the largest sources of Maryland's general fund have both been significantly affected.

By Anne Bartlett  |  November 25, 2008; 9:21 AM ET
Categories:  Governor , John Wagner  
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I believe that the biggest mistake a Governor could make is to increase the sales tax. That discourages commerce when we should be stimulating it. And we have a neighboring state, Delaware, with whom we share an 85 mile border which has no sales tax at all.

If Governor O'Malley wants to stimulate the Maryland economy and send a signal to job providers to locate in the Old Line State, he should cut the state sales tax by 3 cents. That would rescind the recent increase and add 2 more cents of sales incentive. I have been advocating this for some years now.

There has never been a state to cut its sales tax. We could lead the Nation and attract jobs.

Posted by: robinfickerofrobinrealty | November 25, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Are the CASA employees going to be included in this furlough

Posted by: amhmd | November 25, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Maybe O'Maley should stay home. He's the one Fing every thing up.

Posted by: askgees | November 25, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

If there has to be furloughs, I would start with O'Malley and his staff first.

Then I'd follow up with anything that helps illegals. Then after that, any new program that O'Malley has proposed or enacted gets cut right after that.

That should fix things.

Posted by: Skeptic1 | November 25, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I doubt anybody will notice.

Posted by: UnitedWeStand | November 25, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Furlough all those issuing permits ... or make them start inspecting COMPLIANCE of the permits they have issued.

Posted by: properbostonian1 | November 25, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Will he be cutting some of the monies leaving Maryland in out of state contracts? Cut the agencies top heavy management to start. Streamline!

Posted by: tobmore | November 25, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Why balance the budget on the backs of the state employees? How about all tenured professors at state universities teach more than 2 or 3 classes per semester? How about cutting "holiday" parties at the taxpayer expense? Surely there are more wasteful expenses that can be cut before affecting state employee pay.

Posted by: stateworker | November 25, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Here's a thought - and keep in mind that I'm a State Employee who is supporting a family of 6 on a secretary's salary: I hope the Governor finds another way to balance the budget, but in the event that State employee furloughs are truly a viable option, then why not just give us off the day after Christmas as an upaid day? Ditto the day after New Years'. I'm not crazy about getting a short paycheck, but at least I"ll have long weekends, and this will affect like 95% of the State's employees, instead of just a select few who are chosen for the dubious "honor" of being furloughed.

Posted by: mommish | November 26, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

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