Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday that all employees across state government will receive a 4.5% cost of living adjustment (COLA) increase, effective Nov. 1, as part of a series of measures to enhance statewide workforce recruitment and retention efforts.
The governor’s action follows official budget projections from the Board of Revenue Estimates showing that, for the second consecutive year, the state is reporting a multi-billion dollar surplus. Overall, after inheriting a $5.1 billion structural budget deficit, the governor will leave office with a record $5.5 billion in reserves, a more than $10 billion swing in the state’s fiscal fortunes under the Hogan administration.
In March, the governor announced a partnership to remove the four-year degree requirement for thousands of state job announcements, establishing a model for other states to follow. In addition, the governor directed the Maryland Department of Budget and Management to remove all barriers and bottlenecks in order to expedite hires.