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Getty 'laying the foundation' for Hogan, staff

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State Sen. Joe Getty, R-District 5, has been named to Gov.-elect Larry Hogan's transition team, which has started whispers that he could eventually be named to Hogan's Cabinet.

Getty said he has only committed to working on the transition team. There is a separate process for gubernatorial personnel and nothing has been offered to him as of yet.

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"If an offer does come, I'd have to consider if this is a good thing for my family," Getty said. "I love serving in the state Senate, and it would be a difficult call for me to leave. But I'd have to consider whether I can do more for Carroll County as a senator or as a member of the governor's staff."

Getty was named as the head of the legislative and policy team on Monday. His responsibilities include helping to prepare the budget for the upcoming 2015 legislative session. He and the budget team are receiving briefs from the state's Department of Budget and Management about the budget put together by the O'Malley administration for fiscal year 2016, which begins July 1, 2015.

The problem, Getty said, is that state revenue is not meeting budget goals. That includes the FY 2015, which began on July 1, and the FY 2016 budget.

"The current budget is short $300 million, and for the budget that will be worked on in the next session, we are $600 million short from what the O'Malley team has been anticipating," Getty said. "The Hogan team is looking for spending reductions to balance not only the budget for next year, but also the budget year we are in right now."

Getty will also be responsible for looking over and preparing any bills submitted by governmental departments, executive orders and the legislative package — initiatives the governor-elect wants to pursue during the 2015 session.

"I'm laying the foundation for the new governor and his staff for when they take office," Getty said. "Hogan needs to hit the ground running as far as the 2015 session."

The transition process involves some difficult timing though, he said. Unlike county government, where officials are sworn in Dec. 2, Hogan won't be sworn in until Jan. 21, a week after the General Assembly begins on Jan. 14.

By statute, the budget, all department bills, executive orders and the legislative package must be submitted no later than 10 days after the session begins.

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"It takes about a month to print out the budget because of the number of volumes and the number of copies we need," Getty said.

Erin Montgomery, a Hogan spokeswoman, said Getty was selected for the position because of his prior experience in a similar role for former Gov. Robert Ehrlich and his knowledge of the state's budget, which will be crucial in making the appropriate policy and legislative decisions going forward, she said.

"[Getty] is a leader respected by both sides of the aisle," Montgomery said. "He has already served as policy director for Ehrlich and is a trusted friend of Gov.-elect Hogan."

Getty, of Manchester, was elected to his first term as state senator in 2010 and was re-elected on Nov. 4. He served as minority whip in both the 2013 and 2014 sessions and was the Senate chairman of the Carroll County Delegation for three of his first four years. He also sits on several committees, including Budget and Taxation.

Prior to his time as senator, he served as a member of the House of Delegates from 1995 to 2003.

The team members whom Getty will lead have yet to be named, but Hogan will hold more news conferences in coming weeks to make those announcements, Montgomery said.

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Reach staff writer Wiley Hayes at 410-857-3315 or wiley.hayes@carrollcountytimes.com.

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