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Now It's Your Turn: Who should make the big cuts?

John Wagner

Maryland's governor can make budget cuts of up to 25 percent with the blessing of the three-member Board of Public Works. Should controversial decisions, such as Wednesday's closure of an Eastern Shore psychiatric hospital, be left to the legislature? What do you think?

Share your thoughts by posting a comment below.

On Tuesday, we asked whether you agree with the Montgomery County Council that proposed tolls for the Intercounty Connector are too expensive. We got a range of opinions on our Maryland Politics Web site and on our Facebook page.

The most intriguing came from Karen Shimp on Facebook:

"The toll is so high, will be very interesting to see who's actually willing to pay it. Hubby had an interesting idea: Make it free for the first 3 months or so, get people addicted to it & therefore willing to pay."

We're also hearing from you about a proposal by Del. Saqib Ali (D-Montgomery) to post legislative commmitee votes online -- something that isn't done now.

A lot of people seem to like the idea, but Don Hinds told us on Facebook that he is skeptical:

"Will never happen. Darkness rules the Maryland legislature. Light would turn them into dust."

By John Wagner  |  November 19, 2009; 9:05 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner , Your Turn  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: First Click -- Maryland
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Comments

Here's what we're hearing on our Facebook page:

Charles Herbert: Administration of a current year budget is best left to the Governor, The State Treasurer, and the Comptoller. Long range budget plans include the legislature's approval.

Yael Gordon: I agree. As long as the legislative session remains at 90 days, there must be some mechanism for reacting quickly other than a special session.

The Treasurer is supposed to be the legislature's representative on the BPW. If she's not representing them appropriately, they should replace her.

Jeavonna Chapman: It sounds like you are arguing about who gets to put the fire out.

Bruce Robinson: The wise men and women of the legislature established the 25% rule. The Governor isn't permitted to blow that off. If he needs to make changes that exceed the legal limit, he can call a special session. These laws are there to protect us against despots who have no regard for law.

Posted by: marylandpolitics1 | November 19, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I think only the legislature should be able to close a modern well-run community mental health center with deep roots in a rural community. Upper Shore's excellent staff offer great care to individuals with serious mental illness and co-existing addictive disorders. They have earned the respect of patients, families and the community. Upper Shore is the 10th largest employer in Kent County.

The decision to close this center, and the policy to stop serving non-forensic psychiatric patients in state facilities, should be the province of the General Assembly.

Posted by: rwood13 | November 19, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Maryland's budget procedure actually works pretty well. We don't experience the kind of paralysis that characterizes the budget process in states like California and Pennsylvania.

Posted by: member8 | November 19, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Adam,

I notice that the press release from the Gov. talks about saving $3 million from unspecified "streamlining government operations."

As a fraction of the state budget, in grocery-shopping terms, that is saving 2 cents on $100.

Not something to boast about, but then again, the average shopper can save ten times that in the blink of an eye by picking up a cheaper can of beans.

Posted by: dadadata | November 19, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

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