Every year the Maryland Public Policy Institute releases the Annapolis Report a summary of the Maryland General Assembly's legislative session.
Despite the dire predictions regarding the “doomsday” budget, much of the outcry was overstated. For example, Democratic legislators warned that without additional revenue, they would be forced to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in education spending, as well as terminate 500 state employees. In reality, these cuts were actually reductions in planned increases. The net result, despite the rhetoric about hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts, was that state aid to public schools increased by $1.9 million thanks to the “doomsday” budget.3 As for the idea that state employees would lose their livelihood, the budget called for eliminating 500 positions, not terminating 500 employees. As the state currently has several thousand vacant positions, 500 positions could easily have been eliminated without a single state employee losing his or her job.
Indeed, the fiscally conservative budget that emerged from the chaos of the regular session would have had a number of positive ef- fects, making it possible to eliminate ineffective tax credits, eliminate the patronage of delegate and senatorial scholarships, and require state employees to bear a larger portion of their increasing health insurance costs.5 Overall, the “doomsday” budget actually resulted in an increase of nearly $700 million, or 2 percent, in spending over the fiscal year 2012 budget [emphasis mine].