The Board of Public Works (BPW) this week will consider more than $120 million in current year state budget cuts to account for increased spending and reduced revenues amid the coronavirus public health crisis.
The Department of Budget and Management is proposing to cut $120,841,000 from the fiscal 20 budget, the first round of budget cuts to offset COVID-19-related economic woes. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the state could lose up to $1.1 billion in expected revenues in the current fiscal year.
According to Maryland Matters:
The proposed cuts include unallocated funding in six state agencies and $97 million Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) had already not planned to spend this year — $62 million for legislative priorities and $35 million withheld pending an audit of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Under the provisions of §7-213(a), State Finance and Procurement Article, the Governor, with the approval of the BPW, may reduce, by not more than 25%, any appropriation the Governor considers unnecessary. The BPW may not reduce appropriations for the payment of the principal and interest on state debt, public schools mandated funding (including the School for the Deaf and the School for the Blind), or the salary of a public officer during the term of office.
The BPW will consider the proposed cuts in a virtual meeting on Wednesday, May 20. The three-member panel, which includes Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, is responsible for estimating state revenues to assist with managing the State’s budget.
Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.