Gov.-elect reaffirms promise

January 06, 1995|By Marina Sarris | Marina Sarris,Sun Staff Writer

Gov.-elect Parris N. Glendening told scores of local government officials exactly what they wanted to hear last night: He won't cut their state aid.

Mr. Glendening first made that promise during his campaign for governor, but the news was nonetheless welcome to officials concerned about how they would fare amid pressures to cut the state budget.

Aid to public schools, police and other local agencies make up a significant part of this year's $13 billion state budget.

"We are not going to cut local aid this year," said Mr. Glendening, who was the featured speaker last night at a Maryland Association of Counties dinner at the Hunt Valley Inn in Baltimore County.

Mr. Glendening, a Democrat who narrowly won election in November, addressed officials from many counties that supported his rival, Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey.

The former Prince George's County executive reassured them that he will be accessible to local officials and sensitive to their needs, particularly when preparing the annual state budget.

He said he will veto any attempt by the General Assembly to force costly new programs on local governments without providing the money to pay for them.

He also promised not to raise taxes -- a pledge that drew applause from the audience.

"From a local government perspective, that's very refreshing to hear," Daniel F. McMullen, Allegany County administrator, said after Mr. Glendening's speech.

Mr. Glendening also said last night that he plans to cut $235 million from the almost $14 billion state budget being submitted by departing Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

He said the state cannot afford the 8 percent spending increase Mr. Schaefer plans to propose. Mr. Glendening, along with some legislative leaders, wants to hold the increase to 4.5 percent.

Also last night, Mr. Glendening repeated his desire to cut selected business taxes to make Maryland more competitive with surrounding states in attracting new jobs.

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