Governor Martin O'Malley today urged action in Washington to avoid federal sequestration -- a series of automatic cuts that threaten job creation and reduce vital services for families and children in Maryland and across the nation.
The Governor visited FLIR Systems, a thermal imaging and threat detection systems manufacturer that employs middle-skill workers -- a critical sector of Maryland's economy. FLIR has made a commitment to grow its business in Maryland, but with looming sequester cuts, the expansion remains uncertain.
"These are job-killing cuts that are an economic threat to Maryland," said Governor O'Malley. "Too many moms and dads in our State will lose jobs, too many children will lose access to programs like Head Start, and too many of our most vulnerable Marylanders will lose assistance from the safety net we've worked so hard to protect. If Congress cannot come together with a balanced approach to avoid these automatic cuts, we will reverse much of the progress we've made in Maryland creating jobs and expanding opportunity for more families."
Maryland has recovered nearly 81 percent of the jobs lost during the Bush recession and maintains the eighth fastest jobs recovery rate in the nation, and the fastest jobs recovery rate in the region. Federal sequestration will hinder Maryland's ability to create jobs and slow job growth.
According to the state Department of Budget and Management, the sequester will result in almost $100 million in federal grant reductions to State and local governments in Maryland. With Maryland's close proximity to the nation's capital, the state's economy remains especially vulnerable to federal cuts -- 5.6 percent of Maryland jobs are federal with many more supported directly and indirectly by the federal government. The Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates suggests about 12,600 jobs could be lost in Maryland. A report from the Center of Regional Analysis at George Mason University suggests that direct, indirect, and induced job losses could approach 115,000, a much more severe estimate that would likely send Maryland into a recession.
To prepare for fiscal uncertainty in Congress, the Governor increased the State's Rainy Day Fund and cash reserves in the proposed FY 2014 budget.
What does the sequester mean for Maryland?
An estimated 350 special education teachers will lose their jobs
About 650 children will be denied early education in Head Start
Approximately 150 fewer disabled individuals will receive vocational rehabilitation services- the wait list is currently 14 months long
About 2,500 teachers won't receive the training they need to teach our children
Projects to upgrade wastewater treatment facilities will be delayed or cancelled
Approximately 8,600 pregnant women and young children will lose access to nutritious food when Women, Infants and Children (WIC) funding is cut
About 750 Marylanders will be denied entry into substance abuse treatment programs
About 430 low-income families will lose their subsidized child care
The 100,000 Marylanders that use employment services and job training programs annually will have to wait longer to get the training they need- if their training program isn't cut altogether.