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Legislative Adviser: Cuts Need to Be Deeper

Budget cuts proposed last month by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) will save the state about $280 million this year. But most of the savings won't help resolve a projected shortfall next year of more than $2 billion, according to a new letter written by Warrren Deschenaux, the legislature's chief budget analyst.

Deschenaux says that only $89.7 million of the cuts, approved by the Board of Public Works on July 22 at O'Malley's request, are "ongoing" in nature without additional action by the legislature. If the General Assembly agrees to O'Malley's actions when it returns, that figure could grow to $140 million, Deschenaux says.

The rest of the cuts, Deschenaux says, are fund transfers and other one-time savings. And that leaves a long way to go in crafting a balanced budget for the 2011 fiscal year.

"The actions taken so far contribute only modestly to establishing a more sustainable budget," Deschenaux wrote to legislative leaders on Monday. "Much more remains to be done, and that remainder needs to be much more focused on durable changes."

O'Malley is readying another round of cuts to this year's budget, which he plans to present to the three-member Board of Public Works at its Aug. 26 meeting.

The last round included cuts to Medicaid, higher education and stem cell research funding.

By John Wagner  |  August 3, 2009; 3:53 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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most government workers aren't needed. I say good riddance. Hope we keep the savings if the government caused recession ever ends. O'Malley needs to stop supporting illegal aliens.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | August 4, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Deschenaux is right. The whole structure of state spending needs to be reviewed. What we have had so far is smoke and mirrors.

The stimulus money provided by the Federal government was used mostly to keep the state budget at its elevated level rather than to go to "shovel ready" projects. And much of that funding goes to retain the high salaries and benefits of the heavily unionized state and local work force.

The Governor made a big deal out of cutting the state workforce but most of those cut were unfilled positions. The actual number of state employees let go was 39.

And 23% of Montgomery County teachers make more than $90,000 for ten months of work, and that does not includes benefits which are about another 35%. Could those teachers get along with maybe $89,000?

Posted by: MrBethesda | August 4, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Cut the funding of CASA De Maryland to $0 and start helping the feds enforce immigration law and the budget problems will be solved. The budget problems are caused almost entirely by the high population of non-taxpaying illegal aliens who use our schools, our prisons, and our hospitals but contribute nothing in return.

Posted by: postisarag | August 4, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Link to letter?

Posted by: fonkyou | August 4, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow, higher taxes and the budget is even more of a wreck. Thanks O'Malley, that's quite an accomplishment!

Posted by: Digitalman08 | August 4, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The State should audit their fleet vehicles and see how many people in their work force get away without paying taxes on this fringe benefit. That would the federal government collect some taxes too.

Posted by: djohnson1 | August 4, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

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