Hogan: Maryland Has Big Budget Problems, Needs ‘Strong Medicine’

Dec 12, 2014

Gov.-elect Larry Hogan says the state's spending exceeds its revenues, and promises to make tough decisions to bring it back to balance.
Credit Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Gov.-elect Larry Hogan briefed reporters on the state’s fiscal situation yesterday afternoon and the picture he painted was dire. Maryland’s next governor says the state needs ‘strong medicine’ to fix its fiscal health after years of bad budgeting.

“Let me put it in everyday terms: They drained our checking, savings and retirement accounts. They maxed out every credit card. They tapped into Christmas funds, college tuition funds,  they even broke into every one of the kids piggy banks, and we still don’t have enough to pay the bills," Hogan said.

Hogan said the state will face “some very difficult choices, because state government cannot continue to spend more than it takes in." Hogan gave his budget advisor, former state Sen. Bobby Neale, ten days to come up with a balanced budget plan for the next two years.

Neall said the state’s spending is outpacing its revenues. The state faces a $300 million structural deficit this year, and is expected to grow to $1 billion in coming years.

“There will be no money for pay raises,” Neall said. “No money for new programs. No money to buy pencils. This is the track that we’re on.”

Hogan said cuts will be likely in the next six months.