Financial Planning | Legislative / Regulatory | Taxation

Budgetary drama grows in Annapolis

Flag We knew more pain was on the way. Now we're starting to hear rumblings of what might be on tap.

For those just tuning in, the budget situation in Maryland is bleak. Gov. Martin O'Malley proposed almost $300 million in mid-year budget cuts in July, with promises that another $470 million or so would have to be slashed sooner rather than later.

Well, sooner is knocking at the door.

In a speech to the Maryland Association of Counties, O'Malley warned that "reductions in state funding for police, health departments and community colleges" could be up next, according to The Baltimore Sun. "Depending on how they're structured," writes Laura Smitherman, "the reductions could mean library closings, fewer road improvement projects and other cutbacks in Baltimore and the 23 counties that benefit from state aid."

Meanwhile, O'Malley has dusted off the inactive Maryland Economic Development Commission and put it back to work. According to The Sun, the governor is asking the group "to help shape business policy, regulations and legislation. The group will create a 10-year strategic plan for Maryland's economy, gather input from businesses statewide and advise the governor on business issues."

Widespread cutbacks, a commission offering advice on legislation and regulation -- they sound like the ingredients for a busy 2010 legislative session in Annapolis. And with government officials seeking increased guidance on business, tax and economic issues, the expertise that CPAs possess is becoming increasingly valuable.

The MACPA is monitoring events in Annapolis, and as lawmakers seek ways to raise revenue and cut costs, we'll be ready to advise them on the benefits and consequences of their actions.

But we'll need the help of the state's CPAs, too. Every CPA who gets involved makes our profession's legislative voice that much stronger.

Get started by attending one of our professional issues updates and getting up to speed on the issues. Then plan to join us at the Governor Calvert House on Jan. 20 for CPA Day in Annapolis.

In the meantime, stay tuned. Things could get awfully interesting in Annapolis in the coming months.


Bill Sheridan