Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young (D) announced Friday that the city government will institute a freeze on all non-essential hiring and spending during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sworn public safety positions, including police officers, paramedics, firefighters, EMT’s and sheriff’s deputies will be exempted, the city said.
Agencies may request an exemption for other positions by describing the critical service and impacts if the position remains unfilled. Priority will be given to positions that provide direct essential services, and for positions that generate revenue.
“From a budgeting standpoint, municipalities across the state, and throughout the nation, will need to be fiscally prudent as we navigate this unprecedented emergency,” Young said in a statement. “The hiring and spending freeze represents a pair of necessary first steps to ensure that as revenues continue to decline, we remain in a position to quickly respond to the needs of our residents and first responders.”
The city’s Finance Department, based on assumptions related to the pandemic, is forecasting sharp declines in a variety of revenue sources, including the hotel tax, admissions tax, convention center receipts, parking-related revenues, traffic camera revenues, income tax, and many others.