Hogan says he won't restore spending on education, employee raises
By Erin Cox
The Baltimore Sun|
Apr 13, 2015 at 6:32 PM
Governor Larry Hogan speaks about the budget proposal before the end of General Assembly session.
Gov. Larry Hogan said Monday evening he would not restore spending on education, state employee pay or Medicaid as Democrats have asked.
With just hours until the session's end at midnight, the Republican governor remained in a standoff with Democrats.
Hogan told reporters he was elected to deliver tax relief and fiscal responsibility, and that a budget moving through the Democrat-controlled legislature did not go far enough to trim long term spending.
Voters "demanded change in Annapolis," he said. "That's what I'm here for, that's what I'm trying to fight for."
In doing so, the new governor took a position that offered fewer concessions than a compromise he had proffered just two days earlier. Leaders in the General Assembly, meanwhile, left some of Hogan's top legislative initiatives languishing. They did not act quickly on a small tax break for military retirees or on a charter school bill Hogan has sought.
While the squabble is relatively small compared to the total $40 billion spending plan, it reflects a breakdown in bipartisanship that Hogan had promised to work toward when elected.
At issue is about $200 million. The money would go to Baltimore and 12 other jurisdictions where where the cost of educating children is highest It also would prevent a pay cut for state workers and spend more on Medicaid coverage for some pregnant women and treating heroin addiction.
The House of Delegates advanced a plan that would fence of the cash and forbid Hogan from spending it on anything else. Hogan told reporters that he would not spend the money.
The House plan did not address what has emerged in recent days as Hogan's primary concern about how much money would be going into the state pension system.
Protesters heckled Hogan as he left his press conference, following him to the governor's mansion with a chant that riffed off the governor's "Change Maryland" campaign slogan, shouting after him "Don't shortchange Maryland."