Maryland's projected budget deficit for next year continues to grow. New numbers released this week show that the projected deficit stands at close to $1.6 billion, about one-third more than earlier estimates.
The new projections could mean a stronger push next year by state lawmakers to shift some of the burden of teacher pensions onto counties. State Senate President Mike Miller told the Baltimore Sun he will push the idea again in Annapolis, even though the state House of Delegates has in years past refused to hear the matter.
Montgomery County executive Isiah Leggett says his county doesn't have the money to help pay pensions.
"In any and all of the plans, it shifts a significant burden back down to the communities. As low as $11 million in the first year, to as high as $30 million in the first year," Leggett says. "That is a lot of money for a county and counties around the state of Maryland that are strapped for cash right now."
Leggett says the county's projected budget deficit for next year is also on the rise -- now standing at around $200 million. He blames the recent spike on the defeat of ambulance user fees by voters on Election Day.