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Published on April 18th, 2012 | by Len Lazarick

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Doomsday clock records budget countdown

By Justin Snow
Justin@MarylandReporter.com

Doomsday clock, Neil Bergsman of the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute and Kathleen Carmack, a social studies teacher at Governor Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick.

Doomsday clock, Neil Bergsman of the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute and Kathleen Carmack, a social studies teacher at Governor Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick.

With 73 days until the implementation of the “doomsday budget,” a coalition of Marylanders affected by the potential $500 million in cuts unveiled a countdown clock at a news conference Wednesday.

Located online and in the lobby of the Maryland State Education Association in Annapolis, the clock gives a second by second countdown to the July 1 deadline legislators have to call a special session and pass the revenue bill they failed to approve last week.

Speaking at the unveiling, several individuals that could be affected by the cuts spoke to reporters, including a librarian and member of the Annapolis Police Department. They called on Gov. Martin O’Malley and leaders in the Senate and House of Delegates to return to Annapolis and approve the tax package that was thwarted by political differences among the two chambers.

Mary Baykan, director of the Washington County Free Library, said the budget that emerged the last day of session was not the intent of the General Assembly. “Is closing libraries the vision of the state?” questioned Baykan.

Tokunbo Okulaja, a junior at the University of Maryland and daughter of a single parent, expressed concerns about rising tuition costs, which have remained stable in recent years, and her loss of a legislative scholarship that would result from the budget.

In addition to the countdown, a ticker above the clock displays the various services that would be affected by the $500 million reduction. Layoffs, tuition increases, and longer lines at the Motor Vehicles Association are among those on display.

The press conference comes on the heels of a similar one held Tuesday by Republican delegates urging against calls for a special session. Republicans argue a special session would be “tax-laden” and that the doomsday budget still increases spending by $700 million.

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  • http://www.mdpolicy.org/ John J. Walters

    This is hilarious.

    Millions of Americans have had to make do with less over the past few years. Now these clowns are whining about having to do the same, ONCE.

    Forgive me for not weeping openly on their behalf.

    • Skip727

       John, I couldn’t have said it better. Bravo, Sir.

  • abby_adams

    The political spin continues. Have these protesters actually thought why certain areas of the budget were targeted? Could it be the legislature sought areas that would garner the most sympathy & produce taxpayer outrage? Has Annapolis adopted Washington’s budget mishandling? Please ! The 2013 budget passed had cuts to the overall INCREASE in the budget. Maybe they should ask Miller, O’Malley & Busch to investigate the fraud, waste & abuse in state government before shaking down taxpayers AGAIN to protect “the children” police & firemen, etc.  

    • Skip727

       And voters should also be aware that a special session will be used to
      repay unions for their support. State employees (of which I am one) will
      not get a 2% pay increase IF the current “doomsday” budget is enacted. I
      don’t mind NOT getting an increase if it means my taxes and fees will
      not increase. Also afscme will be able to enact a cash grab by charging
      NON-afscme members a fee for the privilege of working for the state if
      state revenues are above a certain level, which is one  more reason our elected officials need to raise taxes..

      • abby_adams

        Sorry Skip, but I am not getting any increase this year on my job plus benefit costs are higher.  Blame for the current situation for state workers, falls on the one party rule in Annapolis & your union. The state budget has been out of control for years. But each year the legislators increase spending. No where do we hear abt reducing state spending without hearing the cries from one special interest group/county or another abt fairness. Unless they get serious abt reducing spending there will not be anyone or anything not taxed or slapped with a fee or toll. The public is tired & fed up with the never ending shake down.

        • Skip727

           Not my union, ma’am but the union that Governor Glendening, with the stroke of the pen, gave the state of Maryland to. My point was I am willing to forgo a raise, again, if the demonrats that control the state of Maryland will curb their spending but unfortunately the governor and the rest of the body politic believe Maryland’s new slogan should be ” Marylanders, what’s in your wallet”.

  • Dale McNamee

    All the usual suspects as always…

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