County leaders are working hard trying to prevent more cuts to local aid by talking and sending letters to members of their delegation and Governor O’Malley. State aid to county and municipal governments has been cut by 60% since FY 2007. A huge blow came this past August when local aid was cut by $210 million; Highway User Revenue by 90% and Police and Health Department Aid by 35%. These reductions have forced local governments to take many cost cutting actions. Counties simply cannot absorb additional cuts.
- Eighteen counties are not providing cost of living adjustments (COLA) to employees
- Twelve counties have enacted layoffs
- Eight counties have enacted furloughs or salary reductions
- Sixteen counties are eliminating positions
- Fourteen counties have dipped into Rainy Day or other reserve funds
- Twenty counties have cut department budgets with amounts ranging up to 25%
In a Baltimore Sun article earlier this week, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller is quoted saying that cuts made earlier will be continued, but they are going to be greater. Local officials want to avoid greater cuts from being piled on the counties.