HOGAN TACKLES BLEAK BUDGET FORECAST: Gov.-elect Larry Hogan said Monday that new budget figures show Maryland’s economic picture is even bleaker than he had warned during his campaign, and will make it tougher to devise a plan to cut taxes, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun. “Even I am surprised by the magnitude of the problem and the task ahead of us,” he said.
- As a candidate, Hogan repeatedly pledged to roll back as many of the O’Malley-era tax increases as possible, writes John Wagner in the Post. But he has said little about which taxes he would seek to cut first, by how much or how quickly.
Confronted with projections of state deficits far into the future, incoming Gov.-Elect Larry Hogan admitted Monday “the task ahead of us is vast,” writes Len Lazarick in MarylandReporter.com. Last Wednesday, the legislature’s budget analysts told lawmakers that there was already a $300 million deficit in the current budget, and another $600 million shortfall in fiscal 2016. “The problem seems even greater than we expected it to be,” Hogan told reporters as he announced new members of his transition team.
- Bryan Sears of the Daily Record quotes Hogan: “We’re going to try and get spending under control and roll back taxes as quickly as we can but obviously it’s a factor. We’ve got to figure out how big a problem we have with this deficit …” Erin Montgomery, a Hogan spokeswoman, said after the news conference that the governor-elect still planned on unspecified tax cuts in his first year in office.
- In a Sun editorial, the board writes that Hogan’s rhetoric about “40 straight tax increases” from the O’Malley administration may have given voters the impression that he was coming in to slash and burn the state budget. But Hogan advanced by far the most responsible and prudent approach to the budget and taxes of any of the candidates in the Republican primary, and he made it through the general election without a lot of specific promises that might foreclose his options as governor.
TRANSITION TEAM APPOINTMENTS: Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) named another half-dozen members of his transition team on Monday, including some well-known figures who’ve served previous tours of duty in state politics, including former state school Superintendent Nancy Grasmick, state Sen. Joe Getty and Gazette columnist Blair Lee.
- S.A. Miller of the Washington Times writes that The transition team was the latest signal to the Democratic leadership of the General Assembly that Hogan wants to avoid the bitter partisan feud that engulfed Gov. Bob Ehrlich, who was elected in 2002 as the state’s first Republican governor in 33 years and served one term before being defeated by Democrat Martin O’Malley.
- Len Lazarick in MarylandReporter.com gives more background on the transition choices at the bottom of the story.
LOSING, IN HAIKU: Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland goes crazy for haiku as he assesses the governor’s race to discern why Anthony Brown lost.
AGNEW’S AFFORDABLE BALL: From Retro Baltimore, in the Sun, a look back at Spiro Agnew’s affordable inaugural ball.
TOP DEMS ASSESS LOSSES: John Wagner of the Post reports that Maryland’s top Democratic elected officials huddled behind closed doors in Annapolis on Monday to lick their wounds and begin an assessment of how the party blew the governor’s race. “We’re going through a period of self-examination,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who called the meeting.
- Speaking for the group after the meeting, Mikulski said the officials agreed that they need to examine how much the loss was a result of national “head winds” and how much it was a result of conditions in Maryland, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun. “We feel we’ve got a lot of homework to do, advice to seek,” Mikulski said.
- Here’s a video from the Annapolis Capital of Mikulski talking about what could have been done better.
COLLATERAL WINNERS & LOSERS: Gazette columnist Blair Lee enumerates his long list of winners and loser from the aftermath of election day.
O’MALLEY URGES PIPELINE REJECTION: Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) took to social media on Monday to urge the U.S. Senate to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline, saying the country needs to look beyond “smallball choices facing us on energy,” John Wagner writes in the Post.
PHOSPHORUS RULES: New regulations to limit farmers from polluting phosphorus into the Chesapeake Bay could be implemented before Gov. Martin O’Malley leaves office in January, reports Phil Davis for the Salisbury Daily Times.
- O’Malley moved forward with Phosphorus Management Tool plans on Friday, submitting the plan to a state legislative committee for review and comment, Josh Bollinger reports in the Easton Star Democrat. The executive move came a week after a cost analysis was released that estimated the environmental tool could cost Eastern Shore farmers about $22.5 million, after government subsidies for issues like manure transportation and alternative fertilizers are factored in.
CASSILLY BROTHERS: When long-serving Harford County State’s Attorney Joseph Cassilly travels to Annapolis to seek support for his office during the next four years, he will potentially have two close supporters in the Maryland General Assembly – his younger brothers, Bob and Andrew, reports David Anderson of the Aegis.
SCHUH NAMES CHIEF OF STAFF: Anne Arundel County Executive-elect Steve Schuh on Monday announced that his campaign manager and former county employee, Diane Croghan, will serve as his chief of staff. She will be the first female chief of staff for an Anne Arundel County executive in 25 years, according to the Annapolis Capital.
3 DEMS ON NEW FREDERICK COUNCIL: Bethany Rodgers of the Frederick News Post reports that Republican Ellen Bartlett has opted against calling for a recount in her race against Jerry Donald, who by 25 votes has claimed a seat on the new Frederick County Council. Her decision clears the way for Donald to become the third Democrat on the seven-member council.
CHANGES IN WICOMICO? In less than a month, Republican Bob Culver will become only the second Wicomico County Executive since the position’s creation. Culver’s upset of eight-year Democratic incumbent Rick Pollitt on Nov. 4 brought rumors of major changes for the departments Pollitt has presided over for nearly a decade, reports Phil Davis for the Salisbury Daily Times.