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By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | November 19, 2008
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has proposed tighter restrictions on a city reserve fund that some City Council members want to tap to ease the effects of budget cuts. Under the new policy - up for a Board of Estimates vote today - the so-called "rainy day" fund must be maintained at an amount equal to at least 8 percent of the combined value of the city's general fund and motor vehicle fund. That would be roughly $30 million more than its current value of $92.3 million. The proposed rules would restrict spending from the reserve account until other leftover money is spent, and the funds would have to be used only to "avoid a budget deficit in any given year."
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NEWS
June 3, 2014
For today's edition of the Maryland Democratic gubernatorial debate fact-check, we'll focus on a recurring point of contention between Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, and on the one aspect of Del. Heather Mizeur's platform that generated significant disagreement among the candidates. Is Virginia 'cleaning our clock'? Mr. Gansler attacked the economic record of Mr. Brown and Gov. Martin O'Malley in part by suggesting the economy in Virginia is much stronger than the economy in Maryland.
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NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Staff Writer | August 27, 1993
An larger-than-expected $6 million surplus from the fiscal year that ended June 30 has bolstered Baltimore County's year-old Rainy Day fund to $17.5 million, officials said yesterday.Budget Director Fred Homan said that $5 million of the unexpected money is from higher-than-expected income tax revenues, but he cautioned that it won't be clear until next month whether the $5 million represents a real increase in county income or is the result of an uneven distribution by state tax officials.
NEWS
May 28, 2014
In Minnesota Public Radio host Garrison Keillor's mythical town of Lake Woebegone, "all the men are strong, all the women are good-looking, and all the children are above average. " Notwithstanding the statistical improbability of that latter claim, it's at least true of the kids enrolled in the Baltimore City public schools' gifted and talented programs. Whether they're really smarter, or have some special affinity for math or music, or just work harder and stay more focused than their peers really doesn't matter.
NEWS
April 23, 1997
THE COUNTY'S fiscal picture is brighter than it seemed just a few weeks ago, when the chief executive's spending affordability committee recommended a tax hike or boosting user fees to stave off budgetary plight. It was one of two advisory panels that urged County Executive Charles I. Ecker to raise more revenue.But residents who feared higher real estate and income taxes have no reason to worry after all. Mr. Ecker's proposed budget for fiscal 1998 would provide enough money to boost salaries for county employees, hire additional police and go beyond the minimum level of state-mandated spending for education -- without a tax hike.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert and Scott Calvert,SUN STAFF WRITER | February 2, 2000
The recent snowstorms have melted away this season's Anne Arundel County snow-removal budget, with weeks of winter still to come. Officials are hopeful that a $1 million rainy day fund will absorb the excess expense and avoid the need to consider cutting elsewhere in the budget. "At this point in time, we don't anticipate that being a problem," said John R. Hammond, the county's financial officer. As of yesterday, the county had spent about $850,000 on salt, sand, overtime and private plowing contractors, more than three times the $280,000 earmarked, said John A. Morris, spokesman for the Department of Public Works.
NEWS
By Tyeesha Dixon and Tyeesha Dixon,tyeesha.dixon@baltsun.com | March 29, 2009
The county is set to eliminate more than 100 vacant jobs in the next budget proposal, as well as dip into its $46 million rainy day fund for the first time - additional steps County Executive John R. Leopold said he's taking to battle next year's budgetary woes. "We're not operating in a vacuum," Leopold said. "We're all part of the same economic downturn, and we've seen where corporate entities have been compelled to order what they call 'right sizing,' or layoffs. ... The public sector is not immune from the same budgetary winds that have been blowing for some time."
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Staff Writer | November 21, 1992
Baltimore County has $9.1 million in a Rainy Day Fund, but its budget director says the money can't be used as an umbrella to help shield Towson from this year's downpour of state budget cuts.As Fred Homan, the county's chief financial officer, explains it, the administration of County Executive Roger B. Hayden is in sort of a "Catch-22" situation as it tries to deal with $27.5 million worth of reductions in state aid.Normally, the Rainy Day Fund and a $5 million surplus from last year might be used to help offset the deficit the state created when it cut local aid in two special legislative sessions this year.
NEWS
By Tyeesha Dixon and Tyeesha Dixon,tyeesha.dixon@baltsun.com | February 8, 2009
Amid a looming budget deficit for next fiscal year, the county is considering furloughs for county employees and tapping into the rainy day fund for the first time to cut costs. Although the county does not anticipate furloughs for this fiscal year, next year's anticipated $108 million budget deficit will require the county to cut spending where it can, County Executive John R. Leopold said. "These are options that may be necessary in light of this sluggish economy," Leopold said. The furloughs - they would require county employees to take off up to 13 days without pay - were not official last week, but John Hammond, Anne Arundel County's budget officer, said the likelihood of them happening was "very high."
NEWS
By Doug Donovan and Doug Donovan,SUN STAFF | February 11, 2004
To help the city school system achieve the financial respectability it so badly seeks, Mayor Martin O'Malley is proposing to lend it money from a fund that has helped city government accomplish the same goal. Taking $8 million from the city's so-called rainy day fund to help the system avoid extensive classroom layoffs indicates how seriously O'Malley views the schools' budget crisis. The fund, painstakingly accumulated over the past several years, is typically used for emergencies such as weather-related costs and is crucial in maintaining the city's creditworthiness.
NEWS
April 14, 2014
City school officials facing a $31 million budget shortfall next year have proposed dipping into the system's rainy day fund to close the gap. But that's not what those dollars are supposed to be for. The whole point of setting aside emergency funds is to cushion the impact of major unanticipated disruptions, from natural disasters to sudden economic crises. They're not a backstop for the kind of foreseeable, year-to-year budgetary ups and downs that ought to be part of the routine planning process, and using them that way would set a terrible precedent for the future.
NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2014
A slowdown in revenue has Baltimore school officials scrambling for budget adjustments that won't require the system to raid its rainy-day fund or cut central office positions and school programs. Officials face a $31 million deficit in next year's budget, due to factors that include a dried up stream of grant funding, fluctuating financial commitments and a halt to rapid growth in enrollment. Now, the school board has asked administrators to come up with alternatives to their proposed budget reductions, which included staff layoffs, breaking contracts and cutbacks to summer school.
NEWS
By Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | January 30, 2013
Gov. Martin O'Malley's seventh State of the State speech will begin at noon today, but aides have released excerpts of his speech, advertised under the banner "Better Choices; Better Results. " Here is a sneak peek of O'Malley's prepared remarks: "Progress is a choice.  Job creation is a choice. Whether we give our children a future of more or a future of less, this too is a choice. Our story, Maryland's story, is the story of better choices and better results. "   ... "No other state can say at once, that they are No. 1 in education five years in a row, No. 1 in holding down the cost of college tuition, No. 1 in innovation and entrepreneurship, No. 1 in human capital capacity, No. 1 in access to dental care for all children, regardless of income,  in PHD scientists and researchers, No. 1 in Research and Development, No. 1 in businesses owned by women, and No. 1 in median family income.
NEWS
September 5, 2012
With the announcement by Comptroller Peter Franchot last week that the state of Maryland has a $500 million surplus ("State budget surplus greater than expected," Sept. 1), AAA Mid-Atlantic is calling upon Gov. Martin O'Malley and Comptroller Franchot to work together on a plan to dedicate those funds to transportation and return them to the state's Transportation Trust Fund, which is used to fund Maryland's roads and mass transit projects. We have a terrible transportation funding crisis in the state that is so bad that the governor and the legislature impaneled a Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding to spend over a year examining the issues and make recommendations, which it did in its final report of November, 2011.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, Baltimore Sun | August 30, 2012
Comptroller Peter Franchot urged Thursday that the state bank about $229 million in unexpected money with which it closed out the books on its last budget year, contending that Maryland's economy remains "exceedingly fragile. " The comptroller, whose office released the final numbers for the budget year that ended June 30, recommended that the General Assembly add remaining fund balance to the state's Rainy Day Fund. The figures the comptroller released were in line with a report in The Sun Thursday that reported the state had ended fiscal 2012 with roughly $225 million more than had been expected.  The additional funds will give Gov. Martin O'Malley additional flexibility as his administration prepares next year's budget, which will go to the legislature next January.
NEWS
June 5, 2012
During the recent special session in Annapolis, it wasn't just Republicans that were fighting tax increases. Democrats, like myself, offered amendments to cut spending rather than raise taxes, and seven of us voted against the tax package. The General Assembly had the audacity to raise taxes, while ending the budget year with a $207 million dollar surplus. That's in addition to the $721 million that was set aside for the rainy day fund. The knee-jerk reaction to raise taxes rather than live within our means shows a blatant disrespect for the business community in this state.
NEWS
October 19, 2009
Fearing steep budget cuts that could lead to more furloughs, layoffs and cuts to state services, members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are urging the state to dip into its $640 million rainy day fund. Normally, such an idea is heresy - bond rating agencies demand that the state keep at least 5 percent of its general fund in reserve to maintain our AAA bond rating (which was recently re-affirmed), and no matter how bad things get, Maryland never goes below that figure.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | July 24, 2002
Howard County's projected budget debt appears to be shrinking as a County Council divided along partisan lines prepares to vote on a related issue - a Republican-proposed charter change on replenishing the county's Rainy Day Fund. Meanwhile, the council worked out changes in a bill proposing higher animal nuisance fines at a work session late yesterday in Ellicott City. The original animal nuisance bill mandated sharply higher fines for animal nuisance complaints, but amendments discussed yesterday likely will change that before a final vote Monday, the council's last meeting before September.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | August 10, 2010
The president of the Baltimore City Council is demanding that the city tap its rainy-day fund to keep public pools open for two more weeks. Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young has scheduled a news conference Wednesday at Southeast Baltimore's City Springs pool to call on Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to dig into the fund to reopen the pools, which closed for the season Sunday due to budget constraints. "This is one of the hottest summers that we've had," said Young.
NEWS
By Larry Carson | larry.carson@baltsun.com | February 28, 2010
Howard County's fiscal woes could spill over into the next three budget years even with stringent economizing, a committee considering spending and borrowing recommendations was told Thursday. A computer model assuming only a 1.9 percent growth in education spending - which includes no teacher pay raises - would still result in red ink for fiscal years 2011, 2012 and 2013 before revenue is predicted to again outstrip expenses. And county officials are still trying to make up for a projected $13 million shortfall this fiscal year.
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