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March 11, 2009

Budget update

The budget news of the day appears to be coming from the legislature, not the governor. House Speaker Mike Busch and Senate President Mike Miller just announced a joint task force that will meet after the 2009 session to evaluate all state aid to counties. The federal stimulus money will run out in two years, they said, and after that, the state needs to rethink the billions it sends every year to the counties for pensions, education, highways, etc.

In the immediate term, they suggested more employee furloughs and cuts to education aid are possible.

Posted by Andy Green at 2:50 PM | | Comments (17)


This is OUR government and we demand they all take a 10% pay cut for the 90 days they work.

If they don't like it we can abolish our form of government as we deem expedient.

See the peoples Constitution in Maryland. It is high time we exercised our rights under it.

"Article 1. That all Government of right originates from the People, is founded in compact only, and instituted solely for the good of the whole; and they have, at all times, the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their Form of Government in such manner as they may deem expedient. Art. 6. That all persons invested with the Legislative or Executive powers of Government are the Trustees of the Public, and, as such, accountable for their conduct: Wherefore, whenever the ends of Government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the People may, and of right ought, to reform the old, or establish a new Government; the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind. "

Regarding the state rethinking how much money it sends to the counties each year, there is no magic, if the state stops funding essential
items like teachers pensions, then the taxpayers will send less tax dollars to the state and more directly to the county. The state spending growth has to stop.

If the current state government decides to cut back on the counties, then the county residents need to cut back on the county tax we pay them to do their jobs. They work for us, and their job performance has been extremely poor - O'Malley, Busch, and Miller, along with some others. When employees perform poorly, they are terminated from their positions. I, therefore, believe the above statement regarding our government as stated in the constitution is correct - we have that right as stated.

Yeah, for the umpteenth time, were broke.

But, not to worry, the $3.2 billion ICC Toll Road construction continues.

Come hell or high water.

Crappy economy or not, if state employees are forced to take additional furlough days or "temporary salary reductions," I'm looking for another job. Due to the cutting of vacant positions, my unit is doing the work of 13 with just 9 folks. And we're better off than most. We work too hard to be the state's fallback plan every time there's a budget shortfall.

The left hand says we need to stimulate the economy by creating jobs. The right hand says we need to plug budget shortfalls with layofffs. Very frustrating. I honestly think we're just spinning our wheels and no one knows a way out of this.

Well we could fire the legislative bodies and save at least 50 million.

To the state employee that is going to look for another job, can I have your 36 hour per week/ 12 sick days per year/ 11 holidays per year, god knows how much annual leave and lets not forget a state pension...and how much do you pay for health care?...come join the rest of us in the private sector...get to work and shut up!!

"Due to the cutting of vacant positions, my unit is doing the work of 13 with just 9 folks."

Yeah, but in the private sector, your "work" would be done by two people, each probably making less than anyone in your office.

Please explain to us why Maryland state employees view their cushy government jobs as some kind of civil right.

We have had the same people, in Annapolis, spending our money,raising our taxes & fees for years. We complain but some how never remember when election time comes around. We the people have the power to change, use it VOTE

Disgruntled, I agree with you. If the government forces state employees on furlough again I am looking for a new job. My group is in the same boat yours is.

The Maryland government needs to stop using the State employees as a lynchpin to fix a budget shortfall. Let the legislators and governor take a pay cut, stop putting this on the workers that make this state run.

How stupid can we be?? No one has the stones throw these losers out of office!!

Think of all the money that has been wasted, remember Spendening completely wiping us out??

Busch, Miller and especially that good for nothing O'Malley have to go!! Bring that last guy back, oh no in MD we can't do that, he was a mean republican............... yeah, that did one hell of a job!!

How about we eliminate pensions for these legislators? Let's face it, what other part-time workers in the country get a lavish pension like our legislators.

We just need to get the slots up and running. Build the slot palaces and they will come at the Governor's urging. Show MOM having fun playing slots. This is the answer to our problems (SLOTS) put all the palors in Anne Arundel Co. They generally vote Republican and they can have them at Laurel, Arundel Mills and the Airport. Make it the Slots County.

Bill – I think you have a very distorted view of state employees, which is unfortunate. I come to work every day and try to provide the best service possible to a largely unappreciative citizenry. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I worked less than 45-50 hours in a week. The leave package is generous, but I rarely have the time to use my days off. The pension is not a give away – one has to be employed for a certain number of years in order to be vested in the system. The health insurance offered is less affordable than any other job I’ve ever had, which is why I’m carried on my wife’s plan. Lastly, your comment “get to work and shut up” is pretty childish. These blog comment discussions always digress into immature insults because people have lost the ability to conduct civil discourse. What a shame.

Baltimoron – I certainly don’t view my state job as a civil right, believe me. Before I was a full-time employee I was a contractor and I lost my position due to budget cuts in 2005. I think that state employees, just like any other employees, are frustrated by the balancing of the budget on our backs. The topic of the original post was that additional furloughs and salary reductions are back on the table, so, I thought my comments were relevant to the discussion. If the post was actually titled, “State employees should stop whining because they have it better than those in the private sector,” please correct me.


Very well stated and defended!!

As a state employee for 28+ years, I am thankful to have a job in these tough economic times. I don't relish pay cuts or furlough days, but I'd rather we all have them than any one person lose their job. But to those that think we are overpaid or have cushy profession is typically paid 2-3 times what the state pays, and where did the poster get 36 hr work week. The 35.5 week was abolished under Schafer. Most state employees I know work for the state because they enjoy what they do, not for the money or the benefits, both of which are not what many of you might think. And as many have noted, I'm certain that if any of you that think we have it cushy were in the position of gettng furloughs and pay reductions, you'd be complaining too...NO ONE likes a pay cut.

I have 34 years in service to our citizens. I am also a facts person..1st Pension, since day one I have put 7 percent of my well below average overnment salary into my pension and Im tored of being told how lucky I am, for once how lucky the state and cirtizens are to have me, a grad degree, a clinical license and a career where I adjudicate acts of criminality in our dangerous correctional facilities where almost everey morning I am met with threats of death to me and family and where gangs are rampant in threats to the point where I am licensed for a gun O'Malley is again taking away from his would be different maybe if we were compensated like our federal or even fellow county and other state counterparts..most of the time not go ahead Gov..furlough us and take away 1 percent of pay...Oh yes we do have sick leave don"t we..hmm Im feeling ill all of a sudden..:),
and now you know why we need our unions...if a state employee reading this and you are not a member..please join..there is strength in numbers..and union is all we have left ..NJF

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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