Legislative / Regulatory | Taxation

A billion and counting: Md. budget cuts mount

Dollar Look on the bright side, Maryland. At least you're not California. Or Michigan. Or Arizona.

A recent report from the Pew Center on the States found that those three states and seven others are in imminent danger of economic crisis, "raising the likelihood of higher taxes, more government layoffs and deep cuts in services," the Associated Press's Judy Lin reports.

Maryland isn't on the list, and given the latest news out of Annapolis, that makes me wonder how the Pew Center on the States defines "crisis."

For the third time in four months, Gov. Martin O'Malley has cut deeply in an effort to keep the state's budget balanced. O'Malley's latest effort calls for $362 million in budget cuts and the elimination of 112 state jobs. That follows earlier cuts of $280 million and $454 million.

That's more than $1 billion in mid-year cuts since July.

"There are no easy decisions," O'Malley told The Baltimore Sun. "None of them by themselves have been popular."

There won't be many easy decisions come January, either. That's when the state's General Assembly reconvenes, and lawmakers undoubtedly will be looking to squeeze every cent they can out of the legislative process.

And though I've said it before, it bears repeating: That makes your attendance at CPA Day in Annapolis on Jan. 20 that much more important. Our lawmakers need expert guidance as they draft finance-related legislation. CPAs can provide that guidance. Register today and help us protect Maryland's public ... and your profession.

And while you're at it, spare a good thought for the folks in Illinois and New Jersey, too. From the sound of things, they could use it.


Bill Sheridan