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March 10, 2009

State worker layoffs could be back on the table

The word from Annapolis is that the revenue projections the state is set to adopt tomorrow could reflect a new $450 million hole in Maryland's finances, a dent so significant that it could overwhelm the help the state is expecting from the federal stimulus bill.

The O'Malley administration is saying it is still formulating a plan to cope with the steadily worsening economy and that employee layoffs could be back on the table. So could a reversal of the University System tuition freeze that O'Malley has worked to maintain.

House Speaker Mike Busch and Senate President Mike Miller say they'll fight any state worker layoffs, but it's hard to know where they'll come up with enough cuts to fill so large a gap. In a further ominous sign for state workers, the Department of Legislative Services is floating a proposal for 1 percent pay cuts for all government employees. The senate Republican caucus yesterday pounced on the bad news in an e-mail:

At budget and personnel briefings before the Senate Budget and Tax Committee today, the administration admitted that the state revenue decline expected to be announced tomorrow will be much worse than anticipated by O'Malley's chief budget advisors.

So state employees are whip-lashed by conflicting O'Malley personnel
policies: the administration's SB 264 will require employees to pay mandatory union fees (from $243 to $513 per year) out of their own pockets at the same time that they face salary decreases/furloughs and increased benefit costs through the administration's measures to balance the budget.

We'll post more details as we get them, but suffice it to say, state workers who have already been forced to take at least two furlough days aren't out of the woods yet.

Posted by Andy Green at 6:40 PM | | Comments (8)


Can Mike Busch, Mike Miller, and Martin O'Malley lay themselves off? That would be an outstanding start.

Keep voting for liberal Democrats, Maryland!

(I'm Libertarian if anyone's asking)

So much for the Obama stimulus manna from heaven saving everyone...

I do kind of like how everything O'Malley does to put off actually having to lead and cheesing off some core constituents until after he's re-elected keeps blowing up in his face though.

I hope you people who voted for the boy gov are happy.

Why is this man the LAST to see the financial issue we are in.

He needs to go to spending rehab. He needs serious help with his addiction to OPM.

Between O'Malley and Obama we are all going to be slaves to the state, indentured servitude. I refuse to go along.

Kings cannot lay themselves off.
When they disappear, it's called a vacation.

As a former State employee I feel sorry for all my friends that are still working for the State. I got out before all this mess. Martin & the Democrats need to curtail thier own spending! Why should State employees have to bear the burden of this administrations over spending. This administration raised taxes in the begining of this recession knowing it was going to get worst & you expect them to forcast revenues. What a joke! The same thing is going on in the White House as we speak.

enough already, impeach this p---k!

O'Malley is balancing the budget on state employyes and on the middle class and yet refused to cut services and give aways for the poor. The Middle Class and state employees did not get the state into this mess. Raise tuition to start with, a college education is not a constitutional right!

The previous White House Administration should paid the bills instead putting the money into their pockets. Didn't George Bush said we were not in a recession back in 2007. Well he lied. He seen the recession coming and did nothing about. Can't blame this Administration for Bushes negelect.

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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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