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
- 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