Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Was Gov. O’Malley Elected to a Three Year Term?

Posted by Ed C on Sunday, March 18, 2007

When Martin O’Malley was running for election I seemed to recall him citing his experience as Mayor of Baltimore (1999 – 2006). When he unveiled his 10 point plan with point 3 stating:

3. We choose to recruit and appoint the most capable people we can find to make government work more effectively. Call us old fashioned, but since all of us have to pay for government anyway, we believe that it can and should actually work.

Funny, but I don’t ever recall him saying …but I’ll need a year to figure it out.

According to the headlines, Baltimore Sun “House GOP effort to cut budget falls short“, and the Examiner “Democrats beat back proposed GOP budget cuts” in a “shockingly close” vote of 29-110 every House Democrat in Annapolis went on the record and along with Gov. O’Malley to compound Maryland’s fiscal problems.

What are being billed as “cuts” would have actually been a freeze of current spending except for cost-of-living pay raises for state employees and $5 million for new prison guards. We keep hearing about the “structural deficit” and a $1 Billion short fall between spending and revenue that is expected in the next few years. Del Gale Bates (R-Howard 9A):

“If we begin to deal with the deficit issue this year, it’s manageable,” said Del. Gail H. Bates, a Howard County Republican who serves on the House Appropriations Committee. “If we wait and do nothing this year and that additional spending is in place, next year we’re talking serious cuts.”

The Democrats plan? Kick the can down the road until next year. All 102 House Democrats voted against the freeze, and the best I can figure offered no alternatives. Why, well Gov. O’Malley needs a year to figure out what is going on.

Democrats acknowledged the fiscal problems facing the state but said O’Malley deserves time to find savings in government and craft a comprehensive solution to the problem, known as the state’s structural deficit.

Gov. O’Malley was able to figure out how to spend $1 Billion from the “rainy day fund” to increase spending this year. When it comes down to making tough or unpopular decisions like reducing spending or raising taxes, well that will have to wait next year. Sure the problem will just be bigger, but why act now?

If Gov. O’Malley runs for reelection will he ask for 4 more years because he sat the first one out?

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2 Responses to “Was Gov. O’Malley Elected to a Three Year Term?”

  1. tjh said

    But how much more of a solution is the “freeze”? Doesn’t that just “kick the can down the road until next year” but maybe just not quite as far? Del. Bates and the rest of the R’s haven’t offered up any legitimate alternative. What “structural” cuts do you suggest?

  2. To TJH said

    A freeze is better than nothing, which is what O’Malley supports (for 1 year at least).

    A freeze is a “legitimate alternative” and so is slots, which we could have had 3 years ago if we had listed to Bobby Haircut.

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