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Gov. Wes Moore proposing budget cuts to address future shortfalls

FILE - Helene Grady, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore's budget chief, discusses the Moore administration's $63.1 billion budget plan for the state during a news conference, Jan. 20, 2023, in Annapolis, Md. Moore is standing center and Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller is standing far left. Moore is proposing a package of state spending reductions to address future budget shortfalls, in a move to avoid future tax increases to balance the budget. (AP Photo/Brian Witte, File)
Brian Witte/AP
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AP
FILE - Helene Grady, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore's budget chief, discusses the Moore administration's $63.1 billion budget plan for the state during a news conference, Jan. 20, 2023, in Annapolis, Md. Moore is standing center and Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller is standing far left. Moore is proposing a package of state spending reductions to address future budget shortfalls, in a move to avoid future tax increases to balance the budget. (AP Photo/Brian Witte, File)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Wes Moore is proposing a package of state spending reductions to get an early start on helping to address a future budget shortfall, after lawmakers took some beginning steps to tackle upcoming fiscal holes in this year's session.

Moore is proposing about $149 million in mid-year budget cuts next week for approval by the state's Board of Public Works, which is comprised of the governor, the comptroller and the state treasurer. The powerful spending panel has the authority to cut up to 25% of the state's operating budget.

Helene Grady, Moore's budget chief, has scheduled an availability with journalists to discuss the plan on Wednesday afternoon.

“This morning, my administration submitted a plan to make targeted and strategic spending cuts and grow our economy while simultaneously protecting the programs and projects that Marylanders care about most,” Moore wrote in a column in The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday.

“We’ve taken a disciplined, data-driven approach that prioritizes investment in areas that connect Marylanders with employment and build new pathways to work, wages, and wealth for all,” the governor wrote.

Moore submitted a balanced $63 billion budget in January for the fiscal year that began this month. It did not include tax increases as originally proposed, but the General Assembly changed the legislation to include new revenue, including a variety of transportation-related user fees to help pay for transportation projects and tobacco tax increases to help pay for education.

Legislative debate over how to address longer-term budget shortfalls is expected to resume when the General Assembly convenes in January.