December 7, 2010

O'Malley e-mails state employees link to Times story on states' budget crises

In an apparent bid to brace state employees for looming budget cuts, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on Monday e-mailed them some recommended reading: a New York Times story about states facing crises because of their debt loads.

"I hope you will take a few minutes to read it to get a sense of the difficult choices that states are faced with this year," O'Malley (D) wrote. "While Maryland has fared better than most, we still face significant budget challenges in the year ahead. As we have in past years, I look forward to working in partnership with you, in an honest and open way, to address these budget challenges and protect our priorities."

The Sunday Times story says that states could face even larger problems than budget gaps of recent years, warning that "even when the economy recovers, the shortfalls will not disappear, because many state and local governments have so much debt -- several trillion dollars' worth, with much of it off the books and largely hidden from view -- that it could overwhelm them in the next few years."

O'Malley is required to submit a balanced budget for the 2012 fiscal year in January. Aides suggest he will start previewing some of the difficult decisions that Maryland faces in the days and weeks ahead. His email to state employees made no mention of any potential cuts. SOURCE: Washington Post

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