The following items were announced in a press release from Governor Larry Hogan on April 10th:

Governor Larry Hogan announced that the state is instituting a budget and hiring freeze amid estimates that Maryland is facing a projected $2.8 billion shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The spread of this deadly virus is wreaking havoc on our national and state economies, on small businesses, and the people of our state,” said Governor Hogan. “In addition to defeating this invisible enemy and saving thousands of lives, there is nothing more important to me than getting our economy and our people back on their feet.”

BUDGET ACTIONS. After Comptroller Peter Franchot announced a potential $2.8 billion shortfall in the coming months, Governor Hogan outlined a series of budget actions:

  • Budget freeze. Effective immediately, all agencies must stop discretionary purchases of items or services not related to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic or necessary to support core agency functions.
  • Hiring freeze. Effective Monday, April 13, all vacant positions in the executive branch of state government will be frozen with the exception of those currently subject to COVID-19 response pay.
  • Budget restrictions. The Office of Budget Analysis will be sending state agency budget reduction targets for FY 2021 within the next two to three weeks.

The governor also announced that it is unlikely any bills that require increased spending will be signed into law. In addition, the state will be tapping into and spending much, perhaps even all, of the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

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There are a number of other announcements made in the press release yesterday…read them all here:  https://governor.maryland.gov/2020/04/10/governor-hogan-institutes-budget-and-hiring-freeze-across-state-government-takes-action-to-bolster-unemployment-claims-process/

Expect this to have ramifications on the county operating budget this year and in the upcoming 2021 proposed operating budget from Howard County Government.

Scott E