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O'Malley to Propose Nearly $300 Million in Cuts

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) told legislative leaders Monday night that he will propose close to $300 million in budget cuts on Wednesday, the bulk of them targeting state agencies.

More furloughs of state workers could follow in future rounds of cuts, lawmakers said after emerging from a two-hour meeting at the governor's mansion in Annapolis.

The gloomy meeting about the status of the budget came just three weeks into the state's new fiscal year. With tax revenues continuing to slump badly during the recession, analysts are already predicting a $700 million shortfall, which could grow considerably the following year.

"The bottom line is serious cuts are going to take place everywhere, everywhere, and we've just got to be honest about that," said House Majority Leader Kumar P. Barve (D-Montgomery).

Higher education and health programs will be among those targeted Wednesday, lawmakers said. O'Malley will present the proposed cuts to the Board of Public Works, a three-member panel authorized to cut the budget when the legislature is not in session.

O'Malley aides said the governor is waiting to talk with labor unions and county leaders before proposing additional cuts that will affect their interests.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said there is consensus that K-12 education spending should be protected as much as possible.

Beyond that, he said, "it's going to be very difficult."

By Anne Bartlett  |  July 20, 2009; 8:51 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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It would be great to start with cutting the two biggest parasites in MD, Mike Miller and MOM...........

Posted by: goziner | July 20, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

This would be a great time to give a look at how the University of Maryland really spends our money. UMCP has over 200 people in "University Relations" (source: their own web site). These are people who don't teach a single class, don't publish a single research paper, and most are handsomely paid.

Posted by: MikeinDC2 | July 20, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

MikeinDC2 wrote:
"This would be a great time to give a look at how the University of Maryland really spends our money. UMCP has over 200 people in "University Relations" (source: their own web site). These are people who don't teach a single class, don't publish a single research paper, and most are handsomely paid."

You're aware that UMCP (like any university) has thousands and thousands of employees (staff) who don't teach a single class and don't publish a single research paper, right? Without administrative staff, clerical staff, facilities staff, etc., no one could teach anything or publish any papes.

About UMCP's University Relations in particular- they're the organization on campus that is responsible for fundraising for the University. They bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to the University in a year, certainly far more than their budget. Since state support to the University is less than half of its budget (I believe around a third?), these funds are certainly very important.

Whether University Relations is efficient at what they do, or whether it's staff are overpaid, I have no idea. But the implication that the entire department and its function are superfluous or useless certainly doesn't seem to be justified.

I have no idea how UMCP compares with other universities in terms of number of staff relative to students or faculty, or how well the staff is paid (relative to the cost of living). I wonder if anyone reading has such information?

Posted by: yrral | July 20, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

University relations is the Campus Fund raising arm

great place to cut


Posted by: Vince5 | July 20, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how much money could be saved by cutting all services -- all of them whatsoever -- to anyone who cannot prove either US citizenship or Legal Immigrant (or legitimate refugee) Status.

I'm thinking that would perfectly and evenly close this budget gap.

The Washington Post wrote:

> "The bottom line is serious cuts are
> going to take place everywhere, everywhere,
> and we've just got to be honest
> about that," said House Majority Leader
> Kumar P. Barve (D-Montgomery).

More than being just "honest" is required, Rep Barve.

You need to be BRAVE.

End all taxpayer funding for invasion and occupation.

It's the only way to make ends meet.

Posted by: thardman | July 20, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Wait, the universities do things like regulate smoking outdoors, and people don't think there's employees doin' nuthin' whose jobs can't be cut?

Posted by: twarrior | July 21, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

As a 36 year employee of UMCP, let me enlighten some of you. Yes, University relations is a big unit and they are VERY well paid in comparison to junior faculty and other administrative staff. That is because the campus President places fund raising as a huge priority for the University. Part of the reason for that is that Maryland places a relatively low priority on higher education. The legislature wants a prestegious University system. They just don't want to pay for it. State universities in the midwest, south and west receive far more state funding than Maryland. The salaries of administrative, trades and clerical workers are, for the most part, deplorable and rank in the bottom third of the nation while being located in one of the most high cost living areas. During the early 90's, funding and pay cuts under the Schaeffer administration wiped out colleges, jobs and staff resources to many units, the libraries, for one, that have never been restored.

The upcoming cuts should start at the top. First, with the University president who, according to the last figures I saw, makes more than the Governor of the state. Next to go should be some of his pet projects while designed to raise visibility are enormous resource drains. In particular is "Explore Our World," a yearly event that costs thousands and thousands of dollars, eats up hundreds of hours of staff time and lets staff work one Saturday in April without pay while the President rides around in his golf cart taking credit for the project. I challenge anyone in University higher administration to prove that event justifies the cost.

State workers in Maryland really seem to get a bad rap. The salaries lag far behind federal and county peers. Retirement benefits rank in the lower 25 percent of the nation and they, as well as health benefits are being chopped. We are the people that clear your roads, work in state supported hospitals, teach your children and protect the roads. I know times are tough, but I hope Governor O'Malley keeps that in mind in the coming months.

Posted by: Frustratededucator | July 21, 2009 3:17 AM | Report abuse

How about cutting all funding for illegal immigrants?

Posted by: HightaxesMOCO | July 21, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Seems like everyone is talking small potatoes! How about saving what's left of the $3,200,000,000 tax payer's dollars committed to building the ICC toll road boondoggle. No one needs one will pay the inflated tolls.

Posted by: free-donny | July 21, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

There many ways of saving money without sacrificing public education and healthcare systems:
1) cancel all non-essential services, e.g. cutting grass along highways, planting shrubs and flowers along highways,(let wildflowers and grasses grow there). I am sure there are many other non-essential services that are 'nice', but Maryland won't stop functioning without them.
2) cancel all services catering to illegal immigrant population. I am not even talking about checking IDs when providing services, there are specific services benefiting this specific population only, they must be canceled. Making sure everyone receiving state services is a legal resident will go a long way as well.
3) Cancel the ICC connector -- postpone until better times. Makes no sense to waste this much money on a project that not everyone agrees is even needed.

Cutting money for educational programs is like cutting the tree branch on which you are sitting. Very convenient at the moment, but will make you fall hard in the end. Uneducated adults commit more crimes and contribute less to the economy--everyone knows that.

Posted by: Dura | July 21, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I'd also like to point out that these budget cuts will only compound the issues that were created by multiple years of tuition freeze.

Not everyone at the university makes the big bucks. My boyfriend is a lowly IT admin getting paid far less that he would if he went to the private sector. Telling someone who makes $40k a year that they're going to cut their pay is pretty low.

Posted by: reiflame1 | July 21, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

reiflame1 said, "My boyfriend is a lowly IT admin getting paid far less that he would if he went to the private sector. "

So why is he still at UMCP? The prestige?

Posted by: iluvkay | July 21, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I have a great way to bring in more income for the state: how about slot machines, because they will .... Oh wait ... Sorry!

Posted by: CubsFan | July 21, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry folks, while your services will be reduced accordingly, the illegals aliens and their advocate groups like CASA will still receive your tax dollars without interruption. Your tax dollars are used to aid illegal aliens thanks to M0ron O'Malley and will continue to aid illegal aliens even to the detriment of you and yours.

On the other hand, if you're sick of this BS, join and use their online faxing system to petition your elected reps. Also join to learn how you can fight this BS on the local level.

Posted by: islandhopper24 | July 21, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Cut No. 1: Red light and speed cameras.


Posted by: bs2004 | July 21, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Islandhopper, did we ever figure out how much of our budget dollars go to "CASA"? I have no idea, and I do not even know what CASA stands for. However, Maryland's potential deficit is huge...I don't know if small potatoes like CASA will make a difference even if they were completely obliterated from the budget.

Please add info if you know...I do not.

I do know that billions of our tax dollars are being flushed into the ICC toll road boondoggle. End it now and balance the budget overnight. No need for layoffs or furloughs.


Posted by: free-donny | July 21, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Hmm--700MM shortfall + 300MM in cuts. I'm great at math but doesn't that mean ... MORE TAXES?!

MO'Maland.... Perhaps MO'M can drive out the remaining two-thirds of MD millionares who didn't move after the last tax hikes. I'm sure that would help with a revenue shortfall!

Rust Belt on the Potomac....

Posted by: lovinliberty | July 21, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the postings on funding for illegal immigrants. They should be exported back to their country and let their own government fund them! There are too many of our people, US citizens, who are without jobs; without homes; and without hope! I am asking Governor O'Malley to look very closely at services that are unnecessary; eliminate salary increases for his staff, just as President Obama has for his executive staff; remove of all slot machines - this only encourages people who are barely living above minimum wage to spend more money, eventually losing the little bit they do earn to support their families, and begin feeding off the welfare system to take care of their families - (it's the families who are suffering); remove some of the Governor's amenities, that are costing taxpayers more money, and start curbing new development of homes and office buildings! If the Governor is going to impose these cuts on the residents of Maryland, he better take a good hard look at his own personal spending--it's time for him to sacrifice!

Posted by: blessingsalways | July 21, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

As someone who lost his UMCP position in the last great budget crunch, when funding went from 5% annual increase when the University was getting long overdue increases in State support, to a 15% cut which devastated campus and preduced a great jump in tuition fees...I feel for the people who stay there despite hardships. They do so because they love what they do, and are of service to the State, to the students and to the much larger world. And they get precious little reward or respect from outside for this.

Posted by: eugeneday1 | July 21, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Wondering if the proposed budget cuts will include a 10% (or perhaps 15%)reduction in the salaries of all elected and appointed state officials???

Posted by: Mair1 | July 21, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Why should UMCP be a scared cow? I thought our fearless leaders in Annapolis said "everything" is on the table? the tuition freeze gift has to stop, we can't afford. Besides, UMCP is a political patronage zone where all failed politiicans like Doug Duncan, get joicy, fat cat jobs, at taxpayer expense. I bet half the administrative staff could be cut and the quality of education wouldn't suffer. And while we're at, how many "assistant coaches" does the athletic department really need? Fridgen and his staff need to go on a diet and learn how to do more with less.

Posted by: VikingRider | July 21, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I'am not a gubet analyst, just an unemplloyed white guy, but why does ther state need to buy back the licenses from waterment? Just because they had a badf catch of crabs or oysters this year...come one where is it written that government guarantees succdess to private business? Where is my bailout?

Posted by: VikingRider | July 21, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

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