Legislative Wrap-Up

On May 26, 2010, JOTF partnered with Maryland CASH, Maryland Association of Nonprofits, Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute, and the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition to host a wrap-up of the 2010 state legislative session.

Henry Bogdan, public policy director at the Maryland Association of Nonprofits, opened the event by welcoming everyone to Annapolis and introducing Neil Bergsman, director of the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute.  Bergsman provided the group with an overview of how the budget process played out during the 2010 session and noted that Maryland will likely need to reduce spending next year as federal stimulus funds diminish and increases in mandated spending come with Medicaid, retirement and debt service.  He also noted that the state would need a 15% increase in annual growth if it were to finance next year’s budget without any cuts.  Growth is estimated to be at 4.3%.  

The budget overview was followed by a panel of nonprofit advocates.  Melissa Broome, senior policy advocate at JOTF; Robin McKinney, director of the Maryland CASH Campaign; Marceline White, executive director of the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition; Branden McLeod, chair of the Maryland Alliance for the Poor; and Matthew Joseph, executive director of Advocates for Children and Youth described the legislative priorities tracked by their organizations during the session and took questions from the audience.  

Maryland’s Secretary of Budget and Management, T. Eloise Foster, then provided an overview of Maryland’s fiscal 2011 budget and noted the O’Malley Administration’s commitment to restoring fiscal responsibility in Maryland.  She stated that actions taken during the 2010 session improve the outlook for FY 2012 by about $1 billion but that challenges still remain.       

The event concluded with a keynote by Erin Currier from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project.  The Project seeks to broaden the focus of the current economic debate in America to include economic mobility, and to develop bipartisan solutions to enhance economic mobility.  Pew’s new report, “A Penny Saved is Mobility Earned,” defines economic mobility as the ability of individuals or families to move up or down the economic ladder within a lifetime (intragenerational), or from one generation to the next (intergenerational). 

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