Office of Sports Promotion budget cuts to be discussed


The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee is to hear its subcommittee's recommendation today to cut $300,000 from the budget of the state's Office of Sports Promotion.

The subcommittee voted to forward those cuts to its parent committee Friday.

The Office of Sports Promotion, a program of Maryland's Department of Economic and Employment Development, has been in jeopardy since last month, when a legislative budget analyst recommended the basic termination of the office. However, a House subcommittee voted to cut only $125,000 of the $250,000 OSP budget earmarked for the Maryland State Games, and left the OSP's remaining request for $664,000 intact.

Now the office is again in danger.

"The Senate subcommittee cut one position from a two-person staff and left no flexibility in the grant funds [$238,500]," said Dean Kenderdine, the assistant director of DEED. "The real work of sports promotion is two-fold: One, it does all the hard work that goes into attracting sports events to the state; and two, it does all the hard work that goes into servicing those events while they are here. We're now faced with [the possibility of] an office so severely reduced, our ability to serve both of those functions will be drastically curtailed."

The recommendations that emerge from the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee today are expected to reach the full Senate Friday or possibly Monday. If the Senate approves the cuts, the legislation will be sent to a conference committee, composed of House and Senate members, to come to some compromise agreement.

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