Legislators and furloughs: One down, 187 to go
We just got our first commitment from a legislator that he will voluntarily participate in the state government furlough. Maryland's contsitution actually prohibits the state from forcing legislators to take reduced salaries during their term in office -- even if the legislature votes to require it, they can't make it stick. This was an issue back in 1992 when the Senate voted to take furloughs, an entirely symbolic gesture that didn't actually force anyone to give up a nickel.
But today Del. Steve Schuh, a Republican from Anne Arundel County and something of a rising star in the legislature becuase of his fiscal accumen, sent out a news release announcing that he will donate an amount of salary equivalent to a furlough to the American Red Cross of Anne Arundel County.“As a result of the national economic situation and persistent overspending by the state, Maryland faces a budget deficit approaching $1.5 billion," Schuh said in a statement. "If state employees are being asked to be part of the solution, I believe it is appropriate that I make an equivalent financial contribution.”