January 15th Can Not Come Soon Enough!
The Glendening administration will officially come to an end on January 15, a blessed day. After offering pay raises to state workers that will cost deficit-ridden Marylanders roughly $100 million, many legislators hope that his time will be up before he can do further damage to the fiscal health of the state.
Right now, Maryland is facing a $1.8 billion deficit. This small fact did not deter negotiators for the Glendening administration from offering an across the board two percent pay increase, along with an offer to restore increases for those who are promoted from one pay grade to another. AFSME, the union representing the state workers, expects to cut a deal next week.
Governor-elect Bob Ehrlich would be under no obligation to honor any contract, but he would risk losing political capital by rescinding its directives.
It would seem the word "jerk" has become joined permanently with the name "Parris Glendening". Responsible people are agonizing about ways to trim this yearís $21 billion budget, hoping they won't have to lay off workers.
A special legislative committee comprised of liberal Democrats made suggestions on how to handle the budget mess. They suggested cutting the pay of state workers by one per cent.
Governor Glendening is oblivious to all of this, it seems. Budget deficits to him mean the taxpayers aren't taxed enough. Like any good liberal/socialist, he feels that as long as his intentions are good, no matter the results. It is a terribly flawed outlook.
Say this for Parris Glendening. He has done a wonderful job of making Maryland a two party state.
While surely not on his "to do" list, his hard-left governance has emboldened the Republicans and has caused many Marylanders to come to grips with the fact they are not Democrats anymore.
Bob Ehrlich will likely disavow any increase that can't fit in the budget. No doubt AFSME members voted overwhelmingly for Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Mr. Ehrlich owes them nothing.
The budget crisis needs immediate attention. Thatís why we hope January 15th comes up fast.
The budget crisis will never be solved with Parris Glendening around.