O'Malley offers buyouts
Gov. Martin O'Malley today offered state workers $15,000 a piece if they resign by the end of January, the latest effort by the administration to cut costs as they look ahead to another massive budget hole next year.
Not all of the state's 79,000 employees will qualify for the plan. Those who do will also receive $200 for each year of state employment.
In a statement accompanying the announcement, O'Malley said Maryland continues to "face significant budget challenges" and told workers "we all need to do more to cut costs."
He also said the plan will help avoid layoffs, a goal he has repeatedly mentioned. Already state workers have seen their pay reduced three years in a row via furloughs, with employees giving up between five and 10 days of pay depending on their salary.
O'Malley's fiscal leaders are currently working on next year's budget, a spending plan that will have to take account for an expected $1.6 billion gap between revenues and expenditures. O'Malley has said the plan will rely on a "continued diet of cuts" rather than any new taxes.
(A longer version of this story appeared in Wednesday's Sun.)