Del. Clagett says it has no new taxes and fees.
Governor Martin O'Malley's fiscal year 2014 budget introduced on Wednesday has the support of one Frederick County legislator. Delegate Galen Clagett says the spending package contains some good news. "We're within fiscal affordability. The budget has no new taxes or fees," he says.
The budget totals $37.3-billion, which is a 4% increase over the current spending plan.
Clagett says he likes the fact that it sets aside $921-million in the state's rainy day fund, which is used for unforeseen emergencies. "We have a big reserve because we are anticipating the federal government may have another shoot out at the OK Corral. So we want to have some money in reserve to make sure we're okay if that happens," he says. Clagett was referring to the upcoming debate in Congress over the "fiscal cliff."
The Governor's budget also contains some money for Frederick County, including $265.1-million for primary and secondary education, and $2.7-million for police, fire and public safety. And the spending plan also provides $4.4-million for Frederick County and its municipalities in highway user revenue, and grants for the elderly and disabled transportation services.
Clagett says the Governor has crafted a good budget for Maryland. "All in all, it ain't a panacea, but it looks pretty good for me," he says. Clagett also notes that the state's structural deficit is "all but eliminated."
However, Clagett says he would like to put more money into the Department of Business and Economic Development. "They've taken a tremendous hit. We need to redefine that operation a little, and give them some money so they can go out and do what they need to and create jobs," he says.
Clagett says the capital part of the Governor's budget will also create jobs.
After the Governor introduces his budget, legislators can reduce spending but they can't increase it. Delegate Clagett doesn't think lawmakers will try to do that.