Got Ideas for Trims? Md. Guv Says: Help Wanted.
By Aaron Davis
Got an idea that could save Maryland a few pennies?
E-mail the governor.
That's what Gov. Martin O'Malley suggested today as he challenged his Cabinet to find new ways to cut another $400 million or more from the state's budget by Labor Day.
He then read aloud some of the first notes that popped into the state's new inbox (www.governor.maryland.gov/budgetcuts.asp) for soliciting suggestions on cutting costs.
Drive parole records in the same vans as state prisoners, "might not save much money but a little bit helps, especially when you're running from the Eastern Shore to Western Maryland," suggested one.
"In lieu of furloughs, close all state offices one day a month, either the first Monday or the last Friday with the understanding that state employees will not be paid for this day," wrote a Baltimore city employee.
"We encourage all citizens to join in the, I won't call it celebration, but join in the deliberation," O'Malley said.
The Web site went up Wednesday night and about a dozen people found it and filed suggstions without any advertising, said O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec.
The governor also called on his Cabinet to consider how state agencies might be able to further cut costs knowing that they have nearly the entire coming year to do so. Less than a month into Maryland's new fiscal year, the state was about $700 short of projections. The Board of Public Works cut about $280 million on Wednesday. O'Malley has promised to make the balance of the cuts by Labor Day.
"Tradition is not a good enough excuse for continuing to do something in a suboptimal way," he said.
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