GOP weighs in on Maryland furloughs
The state Republican party sent out a broadside against Gov. Martin O'Malley's plans for state worker furloughs this afternoon, calling them "sleight of hand." The party chairman, Jim Pelura, says in the news release:
"While I would applaud attempts to cut truly wasteful spending, this game that Governor O’Malley continues to play is bordering on the ridiculous. In one hand, O’Malley dangles unpaid leave for state employees, including those making less than $40,000 who can least afford it. This follows revelations from earlier this year that O’Malley’s senior staff got huge raises over their predecessors when they were hired. Perhaps they should take reductions.
“If the governor had taken the suggestion of Republicans in the General Assembly and level funded the budget for a year, there would be no need for these antics. Instead of playing shell games, Governor O’Malley and the Democrat leadership in the General Assembly should sit down and really make some hard choices to cut out wasteful spending. In addition, the Republican leaders in the General Assembly have put politics aside and repeatedly offered to assist in this effort. They should be taken up on that offer."
(In fairness, it should be noted that this isn't exactly O'Malley's only budget cutting plan; it comes on the heels of well over $1 billion in budget cuts over the last year or so, and is prelude to about $200 million more in cuts the governor has said he will propose in the coming weeks.)