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Budget panel chiefs seek specifics on Hogan's 2% budget cuts

The lawmakers who head the General Assembly's two budget committees asked the administration Friday for details of the impact of Gov. Larry Hogan's proposed 2 percent across-the-board budget cut to agency budgets.

Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer of Howard County and Del. Maggie McIntosh of Baltimore, who chair the Senate Budget and Taxation and House Appropriations committees, sent a letter to  Budget Secretary David R. Brinkley asking him to spell out the implications of the cut on the programs, personnel and services at each agency.

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The lawmakers, both Democrats, asked Brinkley to deliver the information by Feb. 27.

The request follows a recommendation by the legislature's chief budget analyst, Warren Deschenaux, that lawmakers demand a specific agency-by-agency accounting of the impact before making budget decisions.

Hogan said last week that his cabinet secretaries should be given the discretion to find specific savings within their departmental budgets. But Deschenaux warned lawmakers that leaving those decisions to the administration would be a "very dangerous" approach to budgeting.

The governor proposes to achieve $118 million of his proposed $766 million in budget reductions through the 2 percent cut. Hogan's proposal follows a similar 2 percent across-the-board reduction ordered by the Board of Public Works in the final weeks of Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration.

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