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Hogan names ex-GOP Senate leader as budget chief

Hogan names ex-GOP Senate leader as budget chief
Gov.-elect Larry Hogan announces appointments of (from left) David R. Brinkley as secretary of budget and management; Sam Maholtra as secretary of human resources; Jennie Hunter-Cevera as acting head of the Maryland Higher Education Commission and Luis Borunda as deputy secretary of state. (Michael Dresser)

Gov.-elect Larry Hogan named a veteran Republican lawmaker to the vital position of budget chief Thursday and promised to lay out his entire budget plan the day after he takes office Wednesday.

Thatmeans he will unveil his expected program of budget reduction and tax cuts a day before the scheduled introduction of the state budget bill next Friday. The stateis facing a $750 million revenue shortfall in next year's budget.

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Hoganannounced the appointment of former Senate Minority Leader David R. Brinkley, long recognized as a leading Republican specialist on fiscal matters, to head the Department of Budget and Management. The person who fills that role typically takes on the job of chief explainer of the details of the governor's budget.

Brinkley, 55, served eight years in the House of Delegates and 12 in the Senate before he was defeated in the GOP primary last yearby a challenger whosaid he was too accommodating with Gov. Martin O'Malley and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, both Democrats.

Hogan said he didn't clear Brinkley's appointment with that intraparty rival, now-Sen. Michael J. Hough, but didn't expect any problems with the Republican caucus.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch, an Anne Arundel County Democrat and former House colleague of Brinkley's, praised Hogan's choice but added a caveat.

"He got along very well in the House and in the Senate and has friends on both sides of the aisle down here," Busch said. "He'll be a good messenger. But if he has a message of cuts, it'll be difficult to deliver."

Del. Maggie McIntosh, the Baltimore Democrat who just took the helm of the House Appropriations Committee, said the budget secretary position, while always critical, will be especially important in the incoming administration.

"Hogan has talked more about budget than any other policy," she said.

Hogan namedbusinessman Sam Maholtra to head the Department of Human Resources. Maholtra is founder and chief executive of Subsytem Technologies Inc. in Arlington, Va.

Cabinet-level appointments remain to be filled at the departments of state police, information technology and disabilities. Hogan said his administration was "very close" to naming a new state police superintendent, a position that will become vacant with the expected resignation of Col. Marcus Brown this week to take a similar job in Pennsylvania.

The governor-elect filled several high-ranking executive positions and more than a dozen openings in the governor's office Thursday.

Notable among the appointments was Steve Crim, who co-founded Hogan's Change Maryland organization and managed Hogan's gubernatorial campaign, as public affairs director in the administration. Adam Dubitsky, Hogan's chief campaign spokesman, will become policy director.

Other appointments included Jennie Hunter-Cevera, former president of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, as acting secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission; former federal hurricane relief specialist Clay Stamp as director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, and business leader Luis Borunda as deputy secretary of state.

Hogan praised the role played by his transition chairman, James T. Brady, in assembling his Cabinet. He said Brady would remain as an unofficial adviser and "chair of my kitchen Cabinet."

That unofficial Cabinet will also include some familiar figures in Annapolis who have served in the transition. Hogan said former Sen. Robert R. Neall would stay on as an adviser on fiscal issues and that former Sen. Martin G. Madden would become a senior adviser.

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Both said they would serve without pay.

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