Md. Budget Crisis: Governor Issues Executive Order Calling Special Session - Southern Maryland Headline News

Md. Budget Crisis: Governor Issues Executive Order Calling Special Session


Calls on General Assembly to Act Now and Pass Consensus Budget Plan to Solve State’s $1.7 Structural Deficit

ANNAPOLIS (October 16, 2007) – Governor Martin O’Malley, joined by Lieutenant Governor Brown, yesterday signed an Executive Order calling a Special Session. By Article II, Section 16 of the Maryland Constitution and Laws of Maryland, Governor O’Malley proclaimed and convened a Special Session of the General Assembly that will commence on Monday, October 29, 2007 for the purpose of passing legislation to address Maryland’s $1.7 billion structural deficit.

“Over the last four years, our state government has failed to act – and chose to defer our State’s $1.7 billion deficit. Last year, the people of Maryland got tired of the bickering and the delay, and made a change,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Now it’s time to take action – in a special session – starting on Monday, October 29. The cost of waiting is too high. It’s time to pass a consensus budget plan, solve the problem, and move our State forward.”

“Governor O'Malley has proposed a responsible, comprehensive and fair budget solution,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. “We are asking our partners in the General Assembly to come together, form a consensus and help us to keep moving Maryland forward.”

State Republicans generally oppose the plan and have called on the Governor to cut spending to eliminate the deficit.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 01.01.2007.23

Proclamation Convening the General Assembly of Maryland in Extraordinary Session at Annapolis, Maryland on October 29, 2007

WHEREAS, Maryland faces a $1.7 billion structural deficit in next year’s Budget, and similar gaps in future years;

WHEREAS, This structural deficit has been 10 years in the making, driven largely by two decisions - a $1 billion income tax cut in 1997, and an important and necessary $1.5 billion increase in K-12 education spending since Fiscal Year 2003;

WHEREAS, This structural deficit has been averted over the past few years by tuition hikes, fee increases, and diverting money from funds earmarked for open space and transportation;

WHEREAS, Structural reform is the only long-term solution to this problem;

WHEREAS, Structural reform has already begun with the passage of a budget earlier this year that grew by only 2%; the July 11, 2007 action by the Board of Public Works to cut spending by $280 million; the elimination of 147 government positions; the decision to close the Maryland House of Corrections; our continuing efforts to promote efficiency in government through the StateStat process; and our proposal to reduce planned spending by almost $1 billion over the next two fiscal years;

WHEREAS, Our plan for structural reform includes a more progressive revenue structure; closing corporate tax loopholes; investing in Maryland’s intellectual and physical infrastructure; protecting our investments in education; making health care more affordable; modernizing the sales tax; and protecting Maryland’s most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens;

WHEREAS, If there is no special session and the legislature does not address the structural deficit until the regular 2008 Session, the State will lose the ability to implement much-needed fiscal reform beginning in January 2008; and

WHEREAS, If fiscal reform is not implemented in January 2008, the State will face an additional $500 million challenge.

NOW THEREFORE, I, MARTIN O’MALLEY, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND, BY VIRTUE OF THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME BY ARTICLE II, SECTION 16 OF THE MARYLAND CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF MARYLAND, HEREBY PROCLAIM AND CONVENE A SPECIAL AND EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF MARYLAND TO COMMENCE ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2007, IN THE STATE CAPITAL IN THE CITY OF ANNAPOLIS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PASSING LEGISLATION TO ADDRESS MARYLAND’S STRUCTURAL DEFICIT.

GIVEN Under My Hand and the Great Seal of the State of Maryland, in the City of Annapolis, this 15th Day of October, 2007.

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