The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Lots of cuts in the governor's "no-cuts" budget

Feb 21, 2005

A few weeks ago, Maryland Governor Ehrlich submitted a budget to the state legislature that he claimed included no significant cutbacks in state services. Yet among other things, this budget calls for the termination of all state employees involved in enforcement of Maryland's minimum wage and overtime laws. It eliminates funding for six Baltimore City housing inspectors and a lawyer whose job it is to enforce the state's lead paint laws. It reduces Medicaid payments to nursing homes so much that both the nursing home owners and leaders of Medicaid advocacy groups say that it will lead to a significant reduction in the care provided to residents.

Finally, the governor proposed to eliminate a program that provided prescription drugs to thousands of senior citizens in the state, because he claimed the new federal Medicare drug prescription program will make it unnecessary. In fact, even the governor himself now admits this is not true.

When the governor said this budget proposes no significant cutbacks he must have been thinking about all rich friends. There certainly were no cuts in it for them.