Today, the Board of Public Works, consisting of Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, voted to cut $413 million from the state’s operating budget due to the economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This was not an easy decision, but with a projected 30% decrease in revenue, it is a necessary adjustment. The harsh reality is that cuts need to be made in order to have a balanced budget, and the BPW made clear today that they will do exactly that.
The alternative to cutting from the operational budget was laying off over 10,000 state workers. Thankfully, Comptroller Franchot and Treasurer Kopp were able to remove state employment cuts and benefit cuts from the agenda at the beginning of the BPW meeting. As it stands, Maryland is one of the few states that has not yet had to resort to cutting state employment as we maneuver our way through this situation.
There are likely more cuts on the way, but the BPW has opted to wait for more financial information before making that decision. We should know more by mid-July, and I will keep you updated as we move forward.