Schaefer says state employees won't get raises for a 3rd year Some programs will be bolstered

January 07, 1993|By C. Fraser Smith | C. Fraser Smith,Staff Writer

Gov. William Donald Schaefer says Maryland's economy may be perking up sufficiently to permit restoration of funds cut from the state's social services programs during the last two years.

Tax revenues are up only slightly so far, Mr. Schaefer said, so he will be unable to make more than slight improvements.

He regrets there is not enough money to give state employees a pay increase -- for the third year in a row.

State employee representatives were more disappointed.

Mike McCusker, a spokesman for the Maryland Classified Employees Association, which represents about 20,000 state workers, said:

"When you consider all that state workers have had dumped on them -- the extended work week, the furloughs, the frozen staffs that mean many of them are doing more work than ever -- a raise would certainly be appropriate."

Mr. Schaefer said he hopes the renewed optimism he senses among Marylanders will make this year a better one than 1992, which he characterized as the worst of his career in public service.

During an early-morning briefing for reporters yesterday, the governor offered the outlines of legislative plans for the 1993 General Assembly session that begins Wednesday.

Although saving the details for his State of the State address next week, Mr. Schaefer said he would:

* Ask for a new community-service program that provides alternatives to incarceration.

The high cost of prison construction and prisoner maintenance, he said, obliges the state to find new approaches. Nonviolent and white- collar offenders might be candi- dates for this program, the governor said.

* Ask for a new effort to reduce teen-age pregnancies and to collect child support payments -- as much as $20 million of which is owed by Maryland fathers delinquent in their payments.

* Make another effort to pass a ban on assault weapons, perhaps focusing on the more easily concealable of these weapons.

* Reintroduce the so-called "California cars" bill. That legislation, defeated last year, proposes stringent auto exhaust emission control standards.

* Veto any bill outlawing the controversial keno lottery game.

The governor said he will con- tinue his study of "privatizing" various services now provided by the state.

At the request of House Speaker R. Clayton Mitchell Jr., D-Kent, Mr. Schaefer is traveling to Toronto today for a second look at how Lockheed Corp. manages the airport there.

Lockheed has made a proposal to manage Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and Speaker Mitchell said he believes the idea is sound.

Mr. Schaefer said he needs more convincing.

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