State funding could drop by $10.6 million


County officials, including Executive Janet S. Owens, told state legislators last week that the county would receive $10.6 million less from the state this year under Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich's proposed budget.

Last year, the state funded $50 million of the county's $883 million operating budget. That doesn't include more than $200 million the state gave for the school system and Anne Arundel Community College.

The budget, released this month, relies on getting several hundred million dollars from slot machines. If slots or a tax increase are not approved during the General Assembly, the financial picture gets worse. Owens said the county would face "Draconian" cuts. Layoffs of county employees have not been ruled out.

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