Panel: Cap Md. budget growth to 4 percent

A Maryland legislative panel has recommended capping budget growth at 4 percent for the next fiscal year.
 
The Spending Affordability Committee met Wednesday afternoon. It also recommended cutting the state's projected ongoing budget deficit of $362 million by $125 million. Maryland is required to have a balanced budget on a cash basis each year, but the state has long had a structural imbalance projected in future years.
 
The recommendations are not binding on the governor, but the executive branch has come close to the recommendations in the past.
 
The panel rejected a proposal by Sen. David Brinkley, R-Frederick, to cap spending at 1.9 percent growth.
 
The governor is scheduled to submit the state budget for the next fiscal year in January.
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