Annapolis, MD - A report issued yesterday underscores again dramatic spending growth in Maryland, where the budget has increased more than any other state on the eastern seaboard and the mid-Atlantic region. Nationally, the rate of growth is higher than all but five other states, according to the non-partisan National Governor's Association which compares state general fund budgets from fiscal years 2011 to 2013.
"What happens when you increase spending by more than most other states and you pass 24 tax and fee hikes? You end up having the biggest job loss in the nation," said Change Maryland Chairman Larry Hogan, referring to the latest U.S. Department of Labor report which showed Maryland leading the nation in lost jobs.
The report, issued twice a year by the National Governor's Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers, details budget levels among the fifty states. Taking into account the last two years and the next fiscal year's budget, Maryland's 15.5% growth contradicts numbers the O'Malley Administration pointed to just six months ago. At that time the spending increase was 11.4% between fiscal years 2011 and 2012, which the Administration tried to dismiss due to expiring federal stimulus dollars.
An O'Malley Administration spokesperson said in November that, "Maryland has increased general fund spending more slowly over the last two years than most of our neighbors."
"Once again, the Administration is making it up as they go," said Hogan. This is just like the fictional $8 billion in 'cuts' the Administration claims to have made. Fortunately, a non-partisan organization, of which the Governor is a member, provides some much-needed facts."
The total operating budget has grown from $28.8 billion in 2007 to $35.5 billion today. The general fund accounts for discretionary spending funded by state tax dollars.
The report adjusts budget numbers with each issue based on estimated versus actual spending. The average budget growth among all states from 2011 to 2013 is 5.5%.