From the Tuesday, 9 September Washington Post:
First, Comptroller Peter Franchot, an ardent slots opponent, told the Committee for Montgomery yesterday that revenue projections his office will release today for the upcoming two fiscal years “will offer a sobering window into the condition of the Maryland economy.” He criticized the administration of fellow Democrat Gov. Martin O’Malley for pushing a “record tax hike” last year and said slots will only worsen the state’s budget problems with increased crime, “traffic, corruption, addictions and bankruptcies.”
A state panel yesterday recommended that Maryland’s debt capacity edge up to allow more borrowing for roads, schools and other construction projects as tax collections are projected to drop this year.
[My emphasis. – NPO]
From our friends, on campus, at the Diamondback:
The university could face mid-year budget cuts because of the weakening economy, university President Dan Mote said.
The state Board of Revenue Estimates lowered its revenue projections for the current fiscal year by $432 million yesterday, creating a $195 million dollar gap between projected spending and revenue figures and prompting Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley to say in a news release the state would have to cut the budget by “hundreds of millions.”
The sharp drop in projected revenue is primarily because of a softening economy, which is causing the state to collect less from sales and income taxes.
What else do we learn from the Post?
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has seen a rebound in his job approval numbers while support for a key initiative of his, the legalization of slot-machine gambling, has slipped some, according to a new poll.
Forty-five percent of likely voters approve of the job O’Malley is doing, while 35 percent disapprove and 20 percent have no opinion in a poll by Gonzales Research & Marketing.
Those are much better numbers than March, when O’Malley seemed to still be suffering from a special session of the legislature last year in which taxes were raised by nearly $1.4 billion. O’Malley’s job approval rating has climbed by 8 percentage points since March, while the percentage who disapprove has fallen by 13 points. He has benefited from better ratings from fellow Democrats and from independents.
I can’t quite decide where to start muddling through all of this. The state is already under financial duress, with its flagship University expecting a substantial shortfall, and, yet, the following are so.
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