Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget secretary recommended Friday that the governor hold off signing any bills that will cost the state money next year until Maryland’s budget is brought into balance.
The advice is the latest fallout from the legislature’s adjournment Monday night after failing to pass a tax package that the House and Senate had negotiated.
In a letter to O’Malley (D), Budget Secretary T. Eloise Foster said the legislature’s actions left next year’s budget about $70 million out of balance — and that’s after the more than $500 million in cuts that will be triggered July 1 if lawmakers don’t return for a special session.
Foster said her office will also start working with state agencies to identify $50 million in cuts required by the “doomsday” budget scheduled to take effect in July. That plan also calls for slicing 500 state positions at a savings of $30 million.
Foster said the governor would present the spending reductions to the Board of Public Works by June 1. The three-member board is authorized to reduce state spending when the legislature is not in session.
O’Malley said earlier Friday that he plans to meet with legislative leaders in coming days about the prospect of a special session.