HOGAN BUDGET: Faced with a half-billion-dollar budget gap, Gov. Larry Hogan is proposing to roll back several programs enacted to help Baltimore recover from the riots of 2015 and to freeze pay for state workers, the Sun’s Erin Cox reports. The Republican governor would also downsize a major state prison in Hagerstown, delay money for a long-desired hospital in Prince George’s County and reduce extra payments into the state’s pension system.
Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports that Senate President Mike Miller accused Gov. Larry Hogan going back on a five-year deal to provide operating funds for the struggling Prince George’s County hospital system. “We had an agreement,” Miller said after reviewing the governor’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal. “The governor is reneging on his pledge to Prince George’s hospital.”
The first-term Republican cheerfully announced at a news conference Tuesday that he could trim spending and eliminate a $750 million deficit with “no serious cuts.” On the release of his actual budget proposal Wednesday, he triggered immediate criticism from advocacy groups and Democratic lawmakers about cuts to some mandated spending increases among other items, Josh Hicks of the Post writes.
Daniel Menefee of MarylandReporter.com reports that the budget Gov. Hogan rolled out Wednesday is short on mandatory funding increases for workers serving Marylanders with developmental disabilities — putting providers in direct competition with fast food chains, said Senate Finance chair Mac Middleton in a press briefing Wednesday.