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The Baltimore Sun:Franchot wants Hogan to preside when Board of Public Works votes on Maryland...

Governor’s proposed budget cuts


Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat, is requesting that Republican Gov. Larry Hogan return to his seat on the state’s spending board Wednesday when the panel considers Hogan’s proposals to cut $672 million from the upcoming state budget.

The proposed cuts are subject to votes by the three-member state Board of Public Works, which has the authority to cut the budget.

The board consists of the governor, the comptroller and state treasurer Nancy Kopp, a Democrat. For the past few months, Republican Lt. Gov Boyd Rutherford has filled in for Hogan while the governor focused on the coronavirus pandemic.

The Hogan administration proposed $1.45 billion in spending reductions Friday, including the $672 million scheduled to be voted on this week, saying they’re needed because of economic losses from the pandemic. The cuts would have wide-ranging effects across state government, including eliminating employee raises, cutting vacant positions and slashing funding for programs ranging from school security to prosecuting violent crime in Baltimore.

“Given the magnitude of these proposed budget reductions and their inevitable effect on state employees and our essential public priorities, the comptroller believes that Governor Hogan himself should make the case directly to his colleagues and to the people of Maryland,” said Susan O’Brien, a spokeswoman for Franchot, in a statement.

Rutherford has presided at the board’s meetings, generally held every other week, since March 18. That’s also when the board started meeting virtually as part of social distancing measures to control the spread of the virus. Rutherford has substituted for Hogan at other times, too, as when Hogan was undergoing treatment for cancer in 2015.

The proposed cuts come as Maryland and other state governments across the country have lost significant percentages of their projected income and sales taxes due to stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Governors are lobbying Congress to send billions in relief to state governments to help them balance their budgets in light of the public health emergency.

Baltimore Sun reporter Pamela Wood contributed to this article.

https://www.baltimoresun.com/politics/bs-md-pol-bpw-budget-20200629-ton5xrbfi5hsndaocwyqt6ll5y-story.html


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