IMP: Balancing A State Budget 101

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WYPR's Fraser Smith talks to UMBC professor John Willis about the ins and outs of balancing a budget. 

Tom Chaulkey

The voters of Maryland are getting what a majority asked for at the polls: a balanced budget. Without delay, Governor Larry Hogan has offered a plan that would erase an $800-million shortfall—right  away.One result of that is a $143 million haircut for schools across the state. Baltimore’s share of the trim is $35 million. 

This story begins on the night of February 22, 1960, on St. Paul Street near the campus of Johns Hopkins University—and we will never know the end of it. That evening, in the time of the civil rights protests, Duke Ellington’s band was playing at Shriver Hall of Hopkins. And after the concert some of the student activists persuaded the Duke to help them integrate the Blue Jay restaurant around the corner—which had consistently refused to serve African-Americans. But even the Duke himself was turned away. Two days later the story took a strange turn—unexplainable to this day.

Lawmakers from the Legislative Black Caucus were talking tough in Annapolis Thursday as the Democrats, mostly from Prince George’s County and Baltimore City, continue to digest the impacts of Gov. Larry Hogan’s first budget. The Caucus decried cuts to education and healthcare that would disproportionately affect communities of color.

Baltimore City Del. Barbara Robinson, who leads the caucus, says education cuts have business consequences. She estimates that schools in just Prince George’s and Baltimore City could lose as many as 1,200 teachers.

CREDIT DANIEL FOSTER VIA FLICKR

For more than three years, a state commission has been studying whether to allow hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to get at natural gas trapped in the Marcellus shale beneath the mountains of Western Maryland. Now, the commission is done, state agencies have proposed rules, but commissioners still don’t agree on the central question of whether we can frack safely.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Since he was elected governor, Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot have had nothing but praise for each other.  The Democrat and Republican have even gone shopping together. Their bipartisan bro-mance continued Wednesday at Hogan’s first Board of Public Works meeting.

Hogan was applauded as he entered the meeting of the three-member Board – the first he’d ever attended. He came in right as the meeting was scheduled to start at at 10 o’clock, which was something something that rarely happened under Gov. Martin O’Malley, who was regularly 15 to 30 minutes behind schedule.

John Lee for WYPR

Back at the start of the school year, before she could get her class at West Towson Elementary humming along in a regular routine, Bianca Crockett had to pull each of her 18 students from the classroom and individually give them the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, the KRA.

Barely four hours into office, Governor Larry Hogan angered environmental groups by withdrawing phosphorus regulations they had been seeking for years.  Fraser Smith talks to WYPR's News Director, Joel McCord about environmental policy, the new governor and how The Chesapeake Bay will fare. 

TheBrit_2 via flickr

  It’s hard to imagine New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady leading the team’s Bible study, if, in fact, such a thing exists. But, after the last week, it might not be a bad idea for Brady to get himself immersed in the Good Book, or at least with the seventh verse of the sixth chapter of Galatians.

WYPR's Fraser Smith talks to The Daily Record's Danny Jacobs about Marilyn Mosby's new reign as the City State's Attorney.  Who is she letting go, why, and does her husband, Councilman Nick Mosby have any thing to do with those decisions? 

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