January 21, 2011

Summary: The basics of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s $34.2 billion budget

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Fiscal Year 2012 budget basics
Here is a summary of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s $34.2 billion budget, balanced with no new taxes but continuing transfers special funds from Program Open Space and the Transportation Trust Fund.

Total (All Funds) Budget: $34.2 billion ($34,230,031,663)

Gov. Martin O’Malley’s goals for the budget:

  • Balance the budget using cuts, not tax increases
  • Close a $1.4 billion General Fund budget gap
  • Reduce the structural deficit by $730 million, or 37%

Why O’Malley is proud of his budget:

  • Spending growth is limited to 3%
  • It includes more than $950 million in reductions
  • The Rainy Day Fund contains $682 million and the unallocated fund balance contains $120 million

What’s new about the budget:

  • It proposes to save $4 million by consolidating multiple government agencies. These consolidations include:
    • Combining the Higher Education Commission with the State Department of Education
    • Certain programs with the Department of Natural Resources
    • Transportation police forces
    • The policing of most state facilities with General Services Police
    • Highway maintenance facilities
  • O’Malley created the Voluntary Separation Program by executive order. Through this program, 1,000 state employees can apply for early retirement, which is estimated to save the state $40 million annually.
  • It calls for closing the Brandenburg Center for the mentally disabled, which the governor estimates would save $2.7 million.
  • It calls to discontinue the High School Civics Assessment, which is estimated to save $1.9 million.
  • It calls for ending Tolbert Scholarships, which is estimated to save the state $200,000.

Budget Balancing Plan:

  • Fiscal year 2012 projected shortfall:        $1.354 billion
  • Solutions:
    • General Fund reductions:                    $ 949 million
    • Redirection of existing revenues       $ 285 million
    • Revenue additions/ other                    $ 143 million
    • Net impact of federal tax cut and pay freeze on revenue    $  97 million
  • Closing fiscal year 2012 fund balance                $ 120 million

Notable mentions from the budget

  • It maintains an operating fund of $5.7 billion for K-12 education
  • State construction spending is projected to support nearly 15,000 construction jobs through its $3.1 billion capital budget
  • The Chesapeake Bay 2010 Fund will receive $25 million
  • In-state tuition will increase by 3% at four-year public colleges and universities
  • No furloughs for state employees
  • Health care coverage for 916,000 low-income children and adults

–Abby Rogers
Abby@MarylandReporter.com

Fiscal Year 2012 budget basics
Here is a summary of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s $34.2 billion budget, balanced with no new taxes but continuing transfers special funds from Program Open Space and the Transportation Trust Fund.

Total (All Funds) Budget: $34.2 billion ($34,230,031,663)

Gov. Martin O’Malley’s goals for the budget:

  • Balance the budget using cuts, not tax increases
  • Close a $1.4 billion General Fund budget gap
  • Reduce the structural deficit by $730 million, or 37%

Why O’Malley is proud of his budget:

  • Spending growth is limited to 3%
  • It includes more than $950 million in reductions
  • The Rainy Day Fund contains $682 million and the unallocated fund balance contains $120 million

What’s new about the budget:

  • It proposes to save $4 million by consolidating multiple government agencies. These consolidations include:
    • Combining the Higher Education Commission with the State Department of Education
    • Certain programs with the Department of Natural Resources
    • Transportation police forces
    • The policing of most state facilities with General Services Police
    • Highway maintenance facilities
  • O’Malley created the Voluntary Separation Program by executive order. Through this program, 1,000 state employees can apply for early retirement, which is estimated to save the state $40 million annually.
  • It calls for closing the Brandenburg Center for the mentally disabled, which the governor estimates would save $2.7 million.
  • It calls to discontinue the High School Civics Assessment, which is estimated to save $1.9 million.
  • It calls for ending Tolbert Scholarships, which is estimated to save the state $200,000.

Budget Balancing Plan:

  • Fiscal year 2012 projected shortfall:        $1.354 billion
  • Solutions:
    • General Fund reductions:                    $ 949 million
    • Redirection of existing revenues            $ 285 million
    • Revenue additions/ other                    $ 143 million
    • Net impact of federal tax cut and pay freeze on revenue    $  97 million
  • Closing fiscal year 2012 fund balance                $ 120 million

Notable mentions from the budget

  • It maintains an operating fund of $5.7 billion for K-12 education
  • State construction spending is projected to support nearly 15,000 construction jobs through its $3.1 billion capital budget
  • The Chesapeake Bay 2010 Fund will receive $25 million
  • In-state tuition will increase by 3% at four-year public colleges and universities
  • No furloughs for state employees
  • Health care coverage for 916,000 low-income children and adults

–Abby Rogers
Abby@MarylandReporter.com