Governor O’Malley introduced his proposed budget for Fiscal 2015 today, with a series of spending reductions to address budget challenges and new funding to meet the Administration’s priorities.
The Governor’s budget and accompanying budget reconciliation bill do not include any major new reductions in aid to county governments or joint state/county funded programs. The budget actually provides an additional $5.1 million for local health departments and an $8 million increase in the disparity grant program to assist jurisdictions with below average revenue generating capacity. Although community colleges are receiving an increase of $13.5 million, their growth has been constrained through their funding formula. The proposed budget also provides continued funding for those items restored and funded in the Fiscal 2014 budget. A shift in funding through the transfer tax will reduce local Program Open Space funds for FY15, but will maintain prior commitments to ongoing projects under that program.
As reported in the budget highlights document, the following actions have been proposed to balance the Fiscal 2015 budget.
- Retirement savings of $172 million from capping the reinvestment of pension reform savings at $200 million a year;
- Employee and retiree health savings of $164 million from favorable trends from prior cost containment strategies, more efficient contracting, and wellness initiatives;
- Savings of $61 million from constraining rate increases for most health / human service providers and deferring some of the increases by six months; and
- Reductions of $47 million in agency operating expenses during the current fiscal year.
Other key budget documents are listed below:
MACo will continue to review and digest the emerging details of the proposed FY 2015 budget.