Man, this takes either a great deal of guts or a great lack of foresight:
As lawmakers worked Monday to trim state spending to balance Maryland's budget for next year, Gov. Martin O'Malley proposed $18.2 million in new expenditures, much of it earmarked for health care, programs for children with disabilities and a fund to help the poor pay their electricity bills.Seriously. The General Assembly is trying to cut $300 million from the budget, and the Administration is trying to sneak in additionally supplementary funds to pay for things that, realistically, we don't need.
O'Malley called for additional general fund spending totaling $28.7 million over the next two years but also proposed significant expenditures relying on special earmarked funds, some of which are nearing approval by the General Assembly.
While he makes a hefty salary to do it, I somewhat sympathize with Rick Abbruzzese for having to go defend this:
O'Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese defended the governor's submission of a supplemental budget request -- an annual tradition -- at a time when lawmakers are struggling to balance the state budget and repeal an unpopular computer services tax.Of course, the truly lean supplemental budget would have zero dollars contained in it because of some sort of revelation to the Administration that we have a budget crisis.
"This is a very lean supplemental budget that goes directly to making government more effective and more efficient," Abbruzzese said. He said the governor focused his spending requests on "core services" such as juvenile services, state police and aid for infants and toddlers with learning disabilities.
I wonder what it is finally going to take for somebody on the second floor to understand that Martin O'Malley cannot tax and spend Maryland into prosperity. This continued reckless spending is just continuing to propagate preexisting problems with our state's financial posture. It takes a lot of chutzpah to offer a wasteful supplementary budget when we have a budget shortfall during a recession. But what exactly is it going to take for Democrats in Annapolis to act in a fiscally responsible manner?
More below the fold.