Gov. Hogan Withholds Funds to Address Deficit
Annapolis, Md. — On Wednesday, Governor Larry Hogan is withholding $245 million in funding for public programs in order to reduce the yearly budget deficit.
Lawmakers say the decision is expected to affect a number of critical programs throughout the state including funds which would pay for rape kit tests, summer jobs for youth and school construction.
“We’re at a $600 million dollar short fall right now and that’s without spending this money,” said Carl Anderton, a republican delegate from district 38B. “We’re going to do what’s best for the state and make sure that your tax dollars are spent in the best way possible and not wasted.”
But the opposition still wants to see those funds released arguing that there’s too many key areas of funding who should still get funds this year.
“I understand he wants to promote fiscal prudence, however, there are specific needs, for instance the rape kits that was fenced off by the legislature with the hopes that it wouldn’t be a democrat or a republican issue,” said Sharee Sample-Hughes, a democratic delegate from district 37A. “Its just mere fact that people who have been raped to get those kits tested to be able to get justice that is a need, that has been for some time.”
Some of the funds that got withheld would have gone to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
But local lawmakers said they’re confident that if these programs don’t get the funding they need this year they’ll do everything they can to make sure they get their funds next year.