Author: Charlie Hayward

Think tank gives Maryland mixed report card on budget practices

In public debates about the budgetary soundness of state government finances, it can be hard to separate real insights from political posturing and cloudy media reporting. The legendary former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker founded the Volcker Alliance in 2013 with the aim of enhancing government responsiveness by improving how governments work. In its report, Truth and Integrity in State Budgeting: What is the Reality? the Volcker Alliance paints a mixed picture for Maryland, and represents an opportunity for the state to make real improvements in areas considered as weaknesses.

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Widespread management problems persist in Health Dept., state’s largest, auditors find

State auditors found “unsatisfactory” accountability and compliance levels within the highest management echelons of the Department of Health, the state’s largest agency. The auditors’ “unsatisfactory” designation is reserved under state law to a few large state agencies who demonstrate chronic inability to maintain a reasonable level of internal control, and cannot fix problems identified in past audits. Major problems have persisted over multiple years and several governors.

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Analysis: Health Benefit Exchange gets a budget pass, and many questions remain

he Maryland Health Benefit Exchange came under intense scrutiny by legislators after its disastrous start implementing the Affordable Care Act two and half years ago. Now that the exchange and its technology seems to be working, legislators seem less anxious to probe its working and finances. That’s the conclusion from watching hearings in Annapolis over the exchange’s proposed fiscal 2017 budget testimony last month.

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