O'Malley: Stimulus Could Erase Layoffs, Restore College Funds
With federal stimulus money on the way, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is reconsidering plans for 700 layoffs next year and may restore funding for community colleges that was not included in the budget proposal he presented to lawmakers last month.
"First on my personal wish list ... are those 700 layoffs," O'Malley said last night during an appearance on Maryland Public Television's "Ask the Governor" program.
Aides said an announcement about the layoffs could be made in coming days.
O'Malley also said he wants to "take another look at" a proposal last month that would mean an effective freeze on community college budgets for the third straight year, likely prompting tuition increases.
Maryland is expecting about $3.8 billion over two years from the stimulus bill signed by President Obama.
"It's welcome news for Maryland and every state," O'Malley said. "I couldn't be prouder of President Obama and the Congress for what they've done."
Yesterday, O'Malley announced that the state would use its first wave of stimulus money to jump-start $365 million in transportation work, including road resurfacing and bridge maintenance projects. Work on some projects will start within 30 days, he said.
February 19, 2009; 8:45 AM ET
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