State job cuts endanger stimulus aid

petersabonis2Nearly eight years of job cuts in critical state agencies that serve low-income Marylanders will make it more difficult for federal stimulus aid to do the intended job, writes Maryland Legal Aid acting chief counsel Peter Sabonis in a Baltimore Sun op-ed.  “The Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute examined the change in full-time state positions from the start of the freeze in 2001 until 2008 and found that those two departments lost 1,333 and 1,042 full-time positions respectively–more than twice as many as any other agency,” Sabonis wrote. “This is no surprise to us at Maryland Legal Aid. As we represent the unemployed and the working poor during this recession, we’ve seen the effects of a skeletal state infrastructure. Eligibility documents are lost by local Department of Social Service workers; phone calls are not returned; waiting rooms are crowded; supervisors and managers are unavailable; and mistakes are increasing.” To read the entire column, click here.

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