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Maryland's Fiscal 2015 Budget
Maryland's Fiscal 2015 Budget

Md. deficit $270M worse than previously thought


ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s revenues fell short of projections by an additional $270 million for the current and fiscal 2016 budget years. The shortfall is part of a report that will be presented to the Board of Revenue Estimates later this afternoon.

The board is expected to be told that revenue for the current year fell short of projections by an additional $123 million.

The write down is on top of a $405 million write down the board announced in September.

Earlier in the day, one state fiscal leader said he was expecting bad news.

“My guess is that it’s going to be worse than we thought,” said Sen. Roger Manno, D-Montgomery  County and the newly appointed Senate chairman of the Spending Affordability Committee,.

The reductions would likely have an effect on the current budget year and the budget for incoming Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

This would be the second time since the fiscal year began in July that the state has revised its revenue estimates down. Just two days into the budget year, Gov. Martin J. O’Malley and the Board of Public Works, approved more than $84 million in combined budget cuts, job eliminations and fund transfers in anticipation of downward trending revenues.

Two months later, those fears were confirmed with the Board of Revenue Estimates revised the state’s revenue estimates downward by about $405 million for fiscal years 2015 and 2016.

Currently, Maryland legislators and the incoming governor face a nearly $300 million budget deficit in fiscal 2015 and another $600 million projected for fiscal 2016.

Earlier this month, officials with the University System of Maryland confirmed that most state universities implemented hiring and spending freezes in anticipation of budget concerns. A spokeswoman for the governor’s office said similar actions were underway within state  agencies.

Manno said the expected downward revisions that could be announced today would likely widen both gaps.