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Hogan Speaks Out On Maryland Budget Deficit

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) --- Maryland's budget deficit is worse than first reported and governor-elect Larry Hogan is speaking out about it. The state faces a $1.2 billion shortfall, but as political reporter Pat Warren reports, Hogan is looking for ways to fix the deficit that doesn't come directly out of taxpayer pockets.

Governor-elect Hogan lit the menorah in the Inner Harbor Tuesday night to celebrate the Miracle of Lights, when one day's supply of oil burned for eight days and nights. But, there's no such miracle of supply for that state budge. That oil's already burned.

"It's a bad situation that's getting worse," Hogan said.

New revenue estimates this week, show the deficit has increased from $300-million to $423-million this year and increased from $600-million to $748-milion in the next fiscal year. That leaves the state $1.2-billion short.

"I've been the one that's been talking about the problem for four years and other people have been denying that we've had a problem... now that facts are coming out," Hogan said. "It's not going to be easy, but the people elected us to turn the state around and make some tough decisions and that's exactly what we plan to do."

Those tough decisions don't include tax increases, but as to whether he can make good on tax rollbacks...

"Spending cuts have to come first. We still intend to rollback taxes. Obviously you can't put the cart in front of the horse and you can't cut too many taxes when you're digging out of a hole," Hogan said.

Hogan has two days after his inauguration to deliver a budget bill to the general assembly.

The general assembly convenes Jan. 14. The governor's inauguration is a week after that.

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