The Board of Public Works met earlier today to approve more than $200 million in budget reductions brought forth by Governor O’Malley to help close the fiscal 2015 budget gap. The remaining reductions to close the more than $400 million shortfall will be proposed when the General Assembly convenes next week.
As reported by the Washington Post,
The cuts approved Wednesday trimmed $18 million from higher education and $7 million from local community colleges, and included a two-percent across-the-board reduction for all state agencies, which amounts to $113 million. The package also includes voluntary retirement proposals and the elimination of vacant positions, but no layoffs.
O’Malley, who leaves office Jan. 21, plans to offer about $200 million more in fund transfers and budget cuts after the General Assembly convenes next week for the start of its 90-day legislative session, O’Malley spokesman Ron Boehmer said. Those actions would require legislative approval.
The two steps together would close the budget gap in the fiscal year that ends in June. Hogan still would inherit a projected shortfall of about $750 million in the coming fiscal year, which starts in July.
Additional reductions/fund transfers of interest to local government include:
- An almost $8 million reduction to the Disparity Grant Program to fund it at the fiscal 2014 level;
- A reduction of $558,000 to fund Police Aid at the fiscal 2014 level;
- A transfer of $11.8 million in unencumbered special fund balance for both State-side and local Program Open Space to the General Fund;
- A reduction of $5.9 million in Core Funding for local health departments to bring the funding to the fiscal 2014 level;
- A $6.8 million reduction to community colleges; and,
- A $65 million fund transfer from the Local Income Tax Reserve Fund to the General Fund to be repaid in a subsequent fiscal year as specified in the 2015 Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act.
A detailed summary of the reductions can be found on the Department of Budget and Management’s website.