The Department of Budget and Management recently released to the budget committees of the General Assembly a detailed accounting of the 2% general fund across-the-board budget reduction required by the fiscal 2016 budget bill. The spending reduction, which was agreed upon by the Administration and the General Assembly, will reduce the fiscal 2016 budget by $121 million. Executive agencies make up $118 million of the reduction.
As reported by the Baltimore Sun,
“The reality of our financial situation requires us to find ways to work together in order to curb long term spending and protect the interests of taxpayers,” wrote Hogan’s budget secretary, David R. Brinkley, in a letter to General Assembly leaders.
The Hogan administration and the General Assembly agreed this year to reduce spending across state agencies by 2 percent, or $121 million, to shrink an estimated $1.7 billion “structural deficit” — the gap between projected spending and revenues over the next four years.
The bulk of cuts come from moves to save on employee salaries by not filling vacant positions for as long as possible, abolishing positions or hiring people at lower salaries.
About $18.2 million in savings from the University System of Maryland could come through a proposed 40 layoffs — 25 at Coppin State University and 15 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, according to the plan. Another $7.2 million in cuts would be made without affecting personnel. Morgan State University, which is not part of the University System of Maryland, would save $1.2 million by abolishing 20 vacant positions and delaying library enhancements.
A spokesman for the University System has indicated that layoffs have not been determined and that they are a last resort. The Administration has distanced itself from the proposal.
Hogan administration officials said the university system chose how to reach the 2 percent reduction goal. State government will not lay off any employees, said Hogan spokesman Matt Clark.
Clark said the university proposal is “not at the direction of the administration.”
“We do not control the University System of Maryland,” he said.
Additional coverage can be found in the Washington Post.