Maryland is facing yet another budget shortfall and all options are on the table for the next round of cuts. New revenue estimates show the state will bring in almost 700 million dollars less than expected this fiscal year.
Eloise Foster is Secretary of the Maryland's Department of Budget and Management. She's the one who has to figure out how to balance the budget. She says budget planners feared such a shortfalll -- so they built in a cushion -- but it wasn't enough. "We were expecting there to be some revisions in revenue but the magnitude of the write down is really greater than what was anticipated."
That means the state has to cut 300 million dollars from the fiscal year 2010 budget. That's on top of the three quarters of a billion dollars already cut from this year's budget.
Foster will meet with heads of stage agencies to find new propsals. "We're going to preserve critical state services, we're gonna preserve safety net programs, we're gonna continue to protect our investment in education, and overall we want to support initiatives that will help us stimulate our state economy. But all that said, everything is on the table."
Foster says the economy is bottoming out, and predicts this will be the last round of unexpected cuts.
Sabri Ben-Achour reports...