Governor Hogan and his all-or-nothing agenda
Governor Hogan needs to acknowledge the legislative agenda set out and agreed upon, and concede on his own
Last Thursday, Governor Hogan brought budget talks back to square one, unveiling a supplementary budget proposal that sparked controversy with the General Assembly. His budget comes after both houses of the General Assembly passed a revised version of his original budget.
The budget passed by the General Assembly in near unanimous voting would eliminate 75 percent of Maryland’s deficit according to a Washington Post article, keeping in mind the Governor’s emphasis on fiscal responsibility.
Legislators seemed to compromise on many of the ideas Hogan proposed, such as a 2 percent across-the-board cuts to state agencies and Medicaid. Hogan, on the other hand, refused to compromise, and added more conditions, such as tax breaks.
In addition, in order to compensate for the restored education and Medicaid spending, lawmakers halved a pension fund payment for the state, a 75 million dollar cut, according to the Washington Post.
Governor Hogan, in his supplementary budget, tacitly disapproved of the restored funding to education and Medicaid, by simply not even mentioning it in his budget. Instead, he proposes ideas that were against his original budget proposal.
In the supplemental budget, Mr. Hogan proposes personal property tax exemptions for small businesses next year, originally not planning on it until 2017, according to an article by the Baltimore Sun. In fact, the Legislature’s Chief Budget Analyst, Warren Deschenaux, dubbed the move as an “oops” moment.
Throughout this legislative session, both the House and Senate have been very open to working with the Governor, yet the Governor fails to return the favor, especially when it counts.
A recent article by WBAL claims that Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has helped the Governor out in many of his proposals, such as the stormwater management fee, funding charter schools, and even the current tax relief proposals.
The Senate and House are near unanimous in their decision, with only 10 votes against the budget from both houses. The Senate voted unanimously on the budget for the first time in 10 years.
The Senate agreed to work with Governor Hogan on his budget which eliminated 75 percent of the structural deficit. Although Governor Hogan was elected on a tax relief, the members of the House and Senate were elected to represent the people, who they feel value education and Medicaid spending.
Our legislators haven’t shown so much support in a budget in 10 years. It’s time Hogan learns to acknowledge what legislators are so sure that their constituents want, and approve the funding legislators want, instead of throwing in their face other parts of his agenda to approve.