Hogan Inauguration Today, Budget Concerns Tomorrow

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Larry Hogan will shed the “Governor-Elect” title later today and be sworn in as the 62nd Governor of Maryland. While his inauguration speech is expected to address a general direction and plans for the next four years in office—particularly in regard to private-sector growth and across-the-board tax cuts—many are looking with greater anticipation and anxiety as Hogan announces his budget plans this coming Friday. In specific, public sector and education workers are concerned with how Hogan will make up a $760 million budget deficit.

“While Hogan has largely been silent on the specifics of how he would balance the budget with such a deficit, he has given signals that should make state employees and public school workers feel on edge,” said AFT-Maryland Political Coordinator Todd Reynolds. “The Baltimore City School system alone could just flat out lose almost $25 million in state funds, cuts that could lead to the end of certain education programs and various jobs. $100 million in school construction and renovation—cuts that Hogan said during his campaign he would not make—may also get the axe.

State workers should also worry, as the Hogan transition team has said everything is on the table for them. Will we see elimination of state positions? Will we see further cuts to the State Employee and Teacher Retirement System?

These are all on the cutting block, and teachers and state employees will have to speak up if they want to keep them.”

Reynolds reiterated that in order to fight against these cuts, the AFT-Maryland is sponsoring a “Lobby Night in Annapolis” on the evening of February 9th. Members of the AFT-Maryland and their affiliated unions will arrive on buses in Annapolis to talk to their legislators about issues that directly impact them. “It’s always an enjoyable, and highly productive, evening. Lobby Night is a way for Annapolis to see the union in action, and is the best way for us to act as a union to protect the values we hold so dear.”

If you are interested in participating in Lobby Night, please contact Todd Reynolds at 410-764-3030.

T. Reynolds, 1/21/15