Hogan freezes budget, hiring in Md. state government

 

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Friday said that the state was implementing a hiring and budget freeze, as severe revenue shortfall is expected because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The spread of this deadly virus is wreaking havoc on our national and state economies, on small businesses, and the people of our state,” Hogan said. “In addition to defeating this invisible enemy and saving thousands of lives, there is nothing more important to me than getting our economy and our people back on their feet.”

Hogan noted that the state is projected to lose $2.8 billion due to the virus. He said this will cause the state to use too much, if not all, of its "Rainy Day Fund."

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The freeze prohibits Maryland state agencies from discretionary purchases that aren't related to fighting COVID-19 or core agency functions.

Starting Monday, all hiring for vacant positions within the state government's executive branch will the frozen. Additionally, in the coming weeks, Maryland's Office of Budget Analysis will be sending budget reduction targets to the various state agencies for fiscal 2021.

As of Saturday afternoon, Maryland has almost 7,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 200 deaths, according to The New York Times.