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Trump's budget would force state, county to 'pick up pieces'

  • Published in State

President Trump proposed a detailed budget May 23 that kept the themes of his March budget blueprint: steep cuts to science-based agencies, many headquartered in Montgomery County, and to programs to aid lower-income people, offset by sizable increases for defense and Homeland Security.

Compared with the 80-page budget released in March, the new spending plan for Fiscal Year 2018 (October 1, 2017-September 30, 2018) is a vast, eight-volume document with details on Trump’s proposals for every agency. Other subjects newly addressed include how the deficit would be affected, the major changes from previous budgets, revenue forecasts, and economic growth assumptions.

Given the size of the new document, reactions to it this week are only preliminary, with the meanings of many provisions yet to be unearthed by congressional review over the coming months.

If the proposed major cuts are enacted to Medicaid, food stamps (called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or “SNAP”), elderly and school nutrition, “It would be up to the County or state government or both to pick up the pieces,” said Joy Nurmi, special assistant to County Executive Ike Leggett. For instance, she predicted, if SNAP cutbacks are adopted, many people would go to food pantries such as Manna Food Center in Gaithersburg. Manna is partially funded by the County and the cities of Rockville and Gaithersburg.

“A budget is a moral document,” reflecting a community’s values, Nurmi asserted. She called the Trump budget “completely morally corrupt.”

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NIH faces massive cuts under Trump budget

  • Published in News

BETHESDA -- Under President Trump’s recent budget proposal, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is set to receive a major cut to its annual budget.

The proposal reduces the $31.7 billion NIH budget by approximately 18 percent. It also calls for the reorganization and streamlining of the various institutes to reduce overhead costs and the elimination of the Fogarty International Center.

“It’s definitely a distressing proposal, these are devastating cuts and a blow to the country," said Jamie Raskin (D), who represents Maryland's 8th Congressional District, which includes NIH as well as other federal research agencies including the Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“Science is an overall social project, and when you knock out the basic pillars, it devastates the entire enterprise,” he added.

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Federal cuts run county deep

DHR Home SlideAs it turns out the Attorney General of the United States of America doesn’t have to do a thing to Montgomery County – Mick Mulvaney already took care of that.
Sessions, speaking Monday at a White House briefing urged “Sanctuary” communities to follow the law or face the loss of DOJ. grants – and hinted at other possible retributions.
County Executive Ike Leggett says Montgomery County doesn’t fall under “Sanctuary” status, but he is aware the DOJ isn’t fond of the county because leaders here do not necessarily cooperate with Homeland Security and ICE when it comes to illegal immigrants. The county will honor detainers and turn over criminal illegal immigrants, but otherwise leaves the immigrant community alone.
When a rape allegedly involving two illegal immigrants occurred recently at Rockville High School, more than 100 people came out to protest the county and the City of Rockville’s stance on illegal immigrants. Never mind the protesters didn’t exactly understand the issue, perpetual Republican gadfly Robin Ficker - fresh from his success in forcing term limits on the county and flush with the puffed up pride of a man who promised not to run for county office but had a change of heart – jumped into politicize the tragedy with his two bits.

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Van Hollen blasts Trump budget cuts

  • Published in News

Chris Van HollenSen. Chris Van Hollen (D)    FILE PHOTO  

CAPITOL HILL – Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D) came out strongly against the budget proposal unveiled by President Donald Trump, which features harsh cuts to many federal agencies.

In a press conference on Thursday, Van Hollen said the budget blueprint Trump submitted that describes how his administration intends to allocate discretionary spending represents a “betrayal” of Trump’s campaign promises and everyday Americans.

“The Trump budget is great if you can get on a plane every weekend and fly to Mar-a-Lago. But it stinks for everybody else,” Van Hollen said, referring to the president’s Florida resort. “It is directly aimed at hurting working families, and it will hurt people’s opportunities to get ahead and make it in America.”

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Union says budget cuts harm food programs

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – Funding the school system over the minimum required by state law for the first time in seven years is far from saving Montgomery County Public Schools from financial woe, according to a MCPS union.

Members of SEIU Local 500, a union for support staff in MCPS, told the Montgomery County Board of Education Thursday that schools are short-staffed and students are underserved as a result of budget cuts.

Dozens of schools routinely have problems such as: students skipping school-provided meals, student tardiness or absences when a bus driver is sick and students learning in dirty classrooms because staff ran out of time to clean them.

“The kids (who) are not eating the lunch are the ones who need it most, which are the kids who are on low income," said Walter Johnson High School Cafeteria Manager Leshia Murray, who also works at Argyle Middle School. “A lot of these kids only eat at school.” 

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Shortchanging public education

larry-hogan-md-govGov. Hogan may have campaigned to change Maryland, but his budget actions could shortchange Maryland. Right out of the gate, he proposed $144 million in school funding cuts—meaning approximately $100,000 would be cut from every school in Maryland and $3,600 from every classroom.

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Frosh tackling tough issues as new A.G.

  • Published in Local

Brian Frosh betterROCKVILLE – Less than a month after taking office Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) is already facing tough challenges.

Among other things, Frosh is facing a huge budget cut to the attorney general’s office that he was not expecting when he entered his new position.

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