Md. can't keep robbing Peter to pay Paul

Hogan needs to be the grown-up in the room who cuts funding for Baltimore City schools.

While I applaud the hard work on the state budget put in by House Appropriations Committee Chair Del. Maggie McIntosh and others, I am a little alarmed at their consistent kowtowing to the unions and their annual demands for increased funds despite reports of irresponsible spending.

The 188-members of the Maryland General Assembly need to follow the KISS method: Keep It Simple, Stupid. The state constitution mandates only two things: Adequately fund K-12 education and balance the budget.

Nowhere in that document does it say the state should offer millions of dollars to liberal programs that have shown inconsistent results, or continue funding a school system, such as Baltimore City's, that has consistently been irresponsible in its spending. The city schools have run up a $60-million deficit for the second time in a decade because of poor fiscal oversight and out-of-control spending on things that don't directly contribute to the education of our children.

Gov. Larry Hogan has said all along that his proposed budget and spending cuts were just a starting point for a healthy debate that usually winds up benefiting both sides. I hope Democrats in Annapolis can understand his business-oriented approach and negotiate a fiscal 2016 budget without putting partisan politics ahead of the best interests of citizens.

At some point, someone is going to have to be the grown-up in the room and realize that we cannot continue robbing Peter to pay Paul without eventually having to cut some programs that may seem essential today but will be totally obsolete in a few years if we don't get serious about controlling spending.

Hassan Giordano, Baltimore

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