Department of Budget and Management Secretary David Brinkley addressed MACo’s legislative committee on February 11 to discuss Governor Hogan’s proposed fiscal 2016 budget and the State’s fiscal outlook.
When referring to the budget, Secretary Brinkley commented that expenditures were growing at a faster rate than revenues and “the mission was to level fund the budget to allow revenues to catch up and exceed expenditures.” He also indicated that March revenues would be along the lines of expectations, hopefully signifying that there will not be another revenue write-down.
He noted that education funding in the Governor’s budget has been one of the more contentious issues. Secretary Brinkley stated that the Administration “would like to do more for education,” but did not indicate how. He did comment, however, that its difficult for the State not to give cost of living increases to State employees when school systems and counties may be giving salary increases or cutting taxes while receiving additional State dollars.
He also expressed the Administration’s commitment to work with the General Assembly and commented that this was the first where the Administration briefed the budget fiscal leaders and the minority leaders at the same time on the budget.
The Secretary spoke optimistically about reaching a productive resolution to the budget, and indicated his interest in working with counties and other stakeholders to weigh the options ahead.