Marylanders Ask Governor Hogan to Speak Out About Federal Budget Harms

More than 50 organizations across Maryland have come together to ask Gov. Larry Hogan to publicly speak out about how federal budget proposals would harm Maryland families, businesses, and our economy.

The budget the Trump administration proposed earlier this year featured deep cuts that will hurt thousands of families in Maryland who are struggling to afford the basics – food on the table, a roof over their heads, and access to health care. It also proposed stunning cuts in a range of basic public services and investments in our nation, such as job training, K-12 education, access to college, scientific research, clean water, public health, and economic development.

Despite many in Congress declaring the spending plan “dead on arrival,” the budget resolution under way in the House of Representatives charts a very similar path. Both budget plans aim to cut federal investments in anti-poverty programs to clear the way for tax cuts that, based on past proposals, likely would give the most benefits to the very wealthy and large corporations.

“These unnecessary federal budget cuts would leave more Marylanders hungry, homeless, and unable to get necessary medical care. Cutting investments in things like medical research at the National Institutes of Health, a clean Chesapeake Bay, and access to college would further harm our economy,” said Benjamin Orr, Executive Director of the Maryland Center on Economic Policy. “Governor Hogan has a powerful voice to explain how these cuts would devastate Maryland, and we are asking him to use that voice.”

Food assistance programs, including school meals, are among the longstanding, highly effective poverty reduction programs under attack in the Trump and House budget proposals. These proposals cut significant funding for state-administered programs, and seek to fundamentally restructure the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which would likely force Maryland and other states to reduce the number of people eligible to receive food assistance. More than 687,000 Marylanders currently rely on SNAP to afford enough to eat.

“SNAP works the way it is intended to work.  During the Great Recession, more people used it because the need was greater,” Maryland Hunger Solutions Executive Director Michael J. Wilson said. “There is no good reason to make cuts to a program that has helped hundreds of thousands of Marylanders weather the storm, just as so many are getting back on their feet.”

Both the Trump and House spending plans also call for significant cuts to Medicaid that go beyond the already harmful cuts in the House and Senate health bills.

“One of the reasons the Affordable Care Act was so successful in reducing the number of uninsured Marylanders was that we expanded Medicaid to people who previously didn’t qualify but couldn’t afford private insurance,” said Consumer Health First President Leni Preston. “These unprecedented cuts would not only take away health care from those individuals, but also put at risk coverage for children, people with disabilities, those with mental health and substance use disorders, and the elderly receiving nursing home care.”

About 1.2 million Marylanders receive their health coverage through Medicaid, including about 300,000 adults who gained coverage under Medicaid expansion. Both the Trump administration and House proposals assume the cuts in the House-passed American Health Care Act, which would cost Maryland an estimated $14 billion over 10 years, and then make significant additional cuts to Medicaid on top of that.

“President Trump called the GOP Healthcare plan mean. His proposed cuts to Medicaid are worse than mean, they are evil,” said Phyllis Alexis, a registered nurse at Prince George’s Hospital. “As an ICU nurse for the past 19 years, I’ve seen Medicaid save lives every day. I urge Governor Hogan to stand up for our poor and most vulnerable whose lives will be lost so President Trump can give a greater tax break to the wealthy.”

For more information on proposed cuts to housing, environmental programs, and other essential public services, see MDCEP’s recent analysis.


Read the letter to Governor Hogan



Kali Schumitz
Director of Communications and Partner Engagement
Maryland Center on Economic Policy
410-412-9105 ext. 701