At the Maryland Municipal League‘s summer convention this evening, Governor Martin O’Malley offered thoughts regarding the latest budget and economic difficulties facing the State and local governments.
Reflecting on his prior comments to the League membership at last year’s installation event, he noted “Last year I warned of tough decisions ahead,” but followed, “…but also of the hope that would follow.”
Speaking directly to the local road funding reductions in recent budgets, he observed “I know the highway user… those cuts really hurt.” Commenting on funding challenges over recent years, he said “I haven’t had two nickels to rub together to work with you on funding.” He continued reflecting on the series of difficult budget decisions, “through the difficult special session, through two more regular sessions, and five rounds of mid-year budget cuts… I decided not to cut highway user revenues. I hoped and prayed we’d pull out of this.”
“It [highway user revenues] was one of the last things cut,” he concluded, “[that] tells you…that it might well be one of the first things restored to you.”
He followed with other comments on economic and other social indicators of recent times, but revisited the fiscal issues again, urging municipal leaders to “hang in there” through the remaining difficult times. “Thank you for hanging in there during the tough days,” he said.