WYPR’s Frasier Smith recently discussed Maryland’s structural deficit and the Administration’s recommendation to raise the level of state authorized debt with MarylandReporter’s Len Lazarick on “Inside Maryland Politics.” A recording of the interview can be found on WYPR’s website.
The discussion highlights issues that were raised during the November 14 meeting of the Spending Affordability Committee. From a previous post on Conduit Street:
When examining the General Fund Budget Outlook, using baseline projections, it is anticipated that the State would need to close a gap of $421 million to balance the budget in fiscal 2015. This gap is projected to increase slightly in fiscal 2016, and then drop, but remain fairly constant, in fiscal 2017 and beyond. The State’s structural deficit follows this same trend line.
When comparing ongoing spending to ongoing revenues, the largest increase in ongoing General Fund spending is in the amount of dollars being allocated to debt service. The average annual percent change is estimated to be 24.3%. To constrain growth in long-term obligations and reduced the amount of General Fund revenue being allocated to debt service, DLS is recommending that the previously established debt authorization level be maintained.
An article in MarylandReporter.com further analyzes the issue.