Grim state budget includes good news for some
O'Malley plans to transfer about $20 million from it -- a large chunk -- but one that is smaller than in previous years.
We have a story in today's Sun outlining some budget highlights along with a few details about the governor's plans to fix the pension system. The governor will formally present the budget in a news conference this afternoon.
* O'Malley closes a $1.35 billion budget hole with about $950 million in cuts and about $400 in transfers;
* The governor freezes funding for K-12 education at last year's levels, which will be painful for schools but is not as tough as the rumored 5 percent cut;
* Health care gets the largest whack, with about $250 million in lower Medicaid payments to hospitals;
* State workers will not see furloughs, relief that could be short lived. O'Malley also will ask them to pay more into their pension plan;
* The governor will again go to the capital budget to backfill operating costs, taking $200 million from a fund meant for construction projects. In the past O'Malley has bonded more of those projects.
The plan will have to be approved by the General Assembly, which has the ability to cut further. The legislative body can also raise taxes -- an option county government might like since they are not set to have their road repair money restored.