What's worse, layoffs or pay cuts?
All the pain Gov. O'Malley had said would be staved off by the federal stimulus package is now back on the table, with another new twist thrown in: In addition to the possibility of layoffs, lawmakers are now considering the idea of a 1 percent pay cut for all state employees.
Another possibility that hasn't gotten much traction yet is a major shifting of costs to county governments. Legislators have been talking about it for years, but O'Malley has resisted the idea, on the grounds that it just transfers the pain from one place to another without accomplishing anything. I wonder how much longer that can last. The state has now been squeezing fat out of the budget for a year, but I'm not sure that most counties have yet had to do the same.
O'Malley's office just sent out an announcement that he'll be talking about the budget at 1:30, so stay tuned...