Maryland cuts $413M in state spending, but delays pay cuts for workers

As Maryland grapples with the economic fallout from the pandemic, the Board of Public Works on Wednesday cut $413 million out of the state’s budget — one of the biggest single-day revisions in state history. It was the first in what leaders promised to be “painful” actions in the months to come. In a 2-1 vote, the board stripped funding from universities, community colleges, crime initiatives and dozens of other state programs, and approved selling off state-owned aircraft and eliminating 92 vacant state jobs. (Wash Post)

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Gov. Hogan Warns Marylanders Against Coronavirus Complacency

Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday warned Marylanders, particularly younger residents, not to become complacent about the coronavirus. Speaking at the start of the Board of Public Works, he highlighted the 4.72% positivity rate, a number down more than 80% from its peak. More than 9% of Marylanders have been tested for the coronavirus. (Wbal)

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Congress is poised to extend PPP as groups tussle over its unused funds

The Senate passed a six-week extension to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program — but a debate over the program's roughly $130 billion in as-yet-untouched funding is already well underway. What can or should Congress do with any unused money authorized for the PPP? (Wash Bus Journal)

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Senate GOP critics of D.C. statehood call for floor vote to put Democrats on record

Republican senators on Wednesday escalated their campaign against D.C. statehood, blasting the cause as a Democratic power grab and calling for a floor vote to force moderate Democrats to weigh in on the issue. Statehood legislation has virtually no chance of advancing out of a Republican-controlled Senate after it passed the House last week for the first time in history. (Wash Post)

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Franchot, Kopp Answer Unions’ Pleas To ‘Vote No’ On Hogan Budget Cuts

State Treasurer Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp (D) has joined Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) in opposing the governor’s  budget proposal — which goes before the Board of Public Works this morning. Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. said the spending cuts are necessary to deal with declining revenue brought on by the COVID-19 crisis.  Unions representing state workers, and some legislators, protested the cuts at a rally Tuesday, calling them unfair and made in haste. (Md Matters)

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Hollowed out public health system faces more cuts amid virus

The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources to confront the worst health crisis in a century. Marshaled against a virus that has sickened at least 2.6 million in the U.S., killed more than 126,000 people and cost tens of millions of jobs and $3 trillion in federal rescue money, state and local government health workers on the ground are sometimes paid so little, they qualify for public aid. (AP/Times-News)

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Hogan presses for more federal aid to states, unveils $1.45B in budget cuts

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday again called on the White House to implement federal aid to help states facing budget shortfalls because of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. “In this unprecedented crisis, more than 1.6 million government workers have already been laid off, and states across the country face the prospect of devastating cuts to essential services,” Hogan said in a statement. “If swift action is not taken, states will be forced to make cuts that could cost several million additional jobs, which would further stall the recovery.” (Wash Journal)

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Kopp, Franchot to reject more than $200M of Hogan’s proposed budget cuts, imperiling Maryland governor’s plan

Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposal to cut $672 million from the upcoming state budget because of the economic crisis is imperiled because his two fellow members on the state Board of Public Works say they will reject a large chunk of the plan when the panel meets Wednesday. State Treasurer Nancy Kopp joined fellow Democrat and State Comptroller Peter Franchot to oppose a portion of the budget cuts proposed by the Republican governor, who said they are needed now because of the dire economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. (Balt Sun)

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