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O'Malley Outlines Next Round of Budget Cuts

A somber Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has just wrapped up briefings to legislative leaders and the media on budget cuts that will be presented tomorrow to the Board of Public Works. Here are the highlights:

* The total reductions are $454 million, down from the $470 million previously advertised by O'Malley. The governor did not detail what fell out of the package but said it reflected a need to get a majority on the three-member Board of Public Works. Aides said the package has continued to evolve.

* The cuts include 205 layoffs and the elimination of 159 vacant positions. O'Malley said more information would be available later about who is being laid off. He said it was important to notify the employees first. The savings from the job reductions is $17 million.

* The cut in aid to local governments will be $210.7 million, down from the $250 million advertised by O'Malley in his speech to the Maryland Association of Counties. One cut that dropped out of the package was a reduction in a "disparity grant" which the state sends to less-affluent counties, including Prince George's.

* The biggest hit to local aid is an additional reduction of $159.5 million in road maintenance funds. Other cuts to local aid include $20.1 million for health services, $20.6 million for police aid and $10.5 million for community colleges.

* The total hit represents almost a quarter of the funds budgeted for 2010 to local aid, excluding public education.

* State employees will be forced to take as many as 10 days of unpaid leave, depending on their salary level.

* $36 million will be cut from the University System of Maryland and other higher-education outlays.

* $21 million will be cut from Medicaid payments to hospitals, managed care organizations, community and other health-care providers; $12 million will be cut from Cigarette Restitution Fund programs, with savings redirected to Medicaid.

* Several units at state health facilities will be consolidated, saving $7.2 million.

* Correctional facilities will be consolidated, saving $4.7 million. No additional detail was provided this morning.

By John Wagner  |  August 25, 2009; 12:04 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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Next: A Five-Year Government Shutdown?



Posted by: interloper5 | August 25, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that in bad times all these states start cutting back yet the Federal government just keeps plugging right along in damn-the-torpedoes style?

Posted by: hz9604 | August 25, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I agree we should have all the Federal Employees take 10 days of unpaid leave to make up a small portion of the $1.6 Trillion deficit we are in.

Posted by: overlytaxedinmd | August 25, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

What a loser--after taking $1.5 billion out of Maryland taxpayers he now has to begin to gut his core constituency--the public unions and --get this-- he is still a billion in the red next year. Time to resign and let a competent pol run the show.

Posted by: ZippyinAnnapolis | August 25, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

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