Report Finds Federal Cuts and Transportation Funding Affect Maryland’s General Economic Outlook

A recently released publication from the National Conference of State Legislatures titled “State Budget Update: Summer 2012” reports that Maryland is still on “shaky ground” due to potential federal deficit reduction proposals and a lack of funding for transportation infrastructure.   The publication is based on a survey of legislative fiscal officers.

As reported by the Gazette:

Maryland ended fiscal 2012 with an estimated 6.6 percent balance, and is projected to end fiscal 2013 with a 6.3 percent balance, according to the report. The state also has reduced its structural deficit from about $2 billion to about $500 million, according to the report.

But Maryland is one of 11 states where officials are “concerned” about the general economic outlook, in part due to the looming threat of federal deficit-reduction measures.

A federal budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) would impose deep cuts to discretionary state and local spending, according to a report released Wednesday by the Center for Budget & Policy Priorities.

Under spending limitations imposed by the federal Budget Control Act, Maryland is expected to receive $2.3 billion in discretionary grants in fiscal 2014. Under the Ryan plan, that number would be reduced by $514 million in fiscal 2014, according to the Center for Budget & Policy Priorities report.

The federal government already faces a series of automatic cuts to defense and nondiscretionary spending, known as sequestration. Those cuts would total $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

The Ryan plan, being floated as an alternative to those cuts, would include reductions three times as severe as sequestration, according to the center’s report.

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