County Budget Deadlines Upended By State Stalemate

Today’s Daily Record covers some of the county effects of the state’s apparent budget stalemate, where both the proposed shift of teacher pensions and a variety of other provisions directly affecting county governments and county-funded agencies (school boards, libraries, etc.) were not enacted as the state fiscal plan unraveled in the final stages of the session.

From the Daily Record coverage:

At issue is a tax bill that, as drafted during the regular session, would raise the income tax on individuals making more than $100,000 annually and another bill that would shift the cost of teacher pensions to local jurisdictions. Also in the mix is a gambling expansion bill that was tied to the fate of the revenue legislation in the final days of the session.

Some counties would be happy if the state’s fiscal house stayed in its current order — with steep cuts for some counties, yes, but without the permanent shift of teacher pension costs.

If the assembly isn’t reconvened soon, lawmakers may have little interest in returning to Annapolis if all there is to do is agree on a multifaceted plan House of Delegates and Senate leaders appeared to hammer out late Monday evening. After some time at home, delegations could seek more sweeteners.

Further complicating matters, most Maryland counties have early June deadlines to adopt their own operating budgets. Only Allegany County, Caroline County and Baltimore City can wait until the end of the fiscal year to adopt their budgets.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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