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Maryland Says It Needs More Federal Aid To Survive Economic Effects Of COVID-19

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This story is part of an NPR nationwide analysis of states' revenue and budgets during the pandemic.

Maryland closed its fiscal year that ended on June 30 with a $925 million drop in tax revenue. State Budget Secretary David Brinkley says the state can expect to be down about $2 billion for the current fiscal year because of the ongoing economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To address the shortfall, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's administration has proposed cutting $1.45 billion from the state's $48 billion fiscal 2021 budget. So far, just a portion of that has been approved, including nearly $190 million from higher education and community colleges, largely sparing public K-12 schools for now. Programs designed to reduce crime in Baltimore also took a hit, as did foster care providers, public defenders and the Washington, D.C., transit system, among others.

"Responding to this crisis has created a multiyear budget crisis unlike anything the state has ever faced before, more than three times worse than the Great Recession," Hogan said before voting for the budget cuts on July 1.

Hogan, who is also the chair of the National Governors Association, has been urging congressional leaders to approve funding states can use to buffer revenue losses.

Rachel Baye is a reporter for WYPR covering Maryland state government and politics.

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