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

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

About The Author

Len Lazarick

len@marylandreporter.com

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of MarylandReporter.com and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.

1 Comment

  1. Seattleron80

    Balance the budget using cuts, not tax increases ? Then where did the alcohol tax come from? And the discussion of a gas tax increase? Say one thing, approve another……..

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 1-24-11: Governor O’Malley « Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast - [...] submitted a budget to the General Assembly on Friday for FY2012. Once again, there are major cuts to address…

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