Comptroller Franchot Says 'Government Inefficiency' Has Wasted Much Of The Pandemic Aid

Posted on 09/29/21 | News Source: WBAL

Maryland has received an extra two $2.5 billion on Wednesday, ending the fiscal year with that much as a budget surplus. 

My statement on the Bureau of Revenue Estimates’ reported $2.5 billion surplus for the state:

— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) September 29, 2021

State Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democratic candidate for governor has some advice for lawmakers and Gov.Larry Hogan on what to do with the money.

Franchot told WBAL’s Robert Lang that too much pandemic relief money was wasted by the state. He said priority should go to housing and unemployment assistance. 

“A river of cash from the federal government has come in over the last 16 months,” Franchot said. “It totals more than $70 billion in the private and public sector.”

Franchot suggests the money should be placed in the rainy day fund.

In a news release, Franchot said there are two Marylands.

“In one Maryland, there are hundreds of thousands of residents facing dire circumstances. Those without a job see their unemployment benefits expiring,” Franchot said. “In the other Maryland, which is about two-thirds of our population, workers are able to do their jobs remotely, invest their wealth in the markets, and run businesses that not only carried on throughout the pandemic, but in fact, did very well.”

Hogan has issued a statement about the surplus. Hogan called the surplus "historic" and said it was proof of his ability "to eliminate the $5.1 billion structural deficit we inherited."