Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) announced Wednesday that he is tapping the first $9 million of a $100 million reserve account established by the General Assembly to mitigate the effects of the federal sequester.
O’Malley said the funds would be used to “protect Marylanders against the harm that these arbitrary cuts would cause” to several initiatives that are supported by federal funds, including Head Start, Meals on Wheels and drug treatment programs.
“Congress’s senseless sequester and the resulting job-killing cuts are threatening our economic progress in Maryland and putting vulnerable Marylanders at risk,” O’Malley said in a statement.
The move was supported by both presiding officers of the legislature, who worked with O’Malley during this year’s 90-day session to established the special account, and it was praised by key members of the state’s congressional delegation.
House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) said the action was “prudent” and that the failure of Congress to revisit the sequester cuts is “hammering state budgets and service delivery to those who need it the most.”