Governor Larry Hogan announced today that all state government employees will receive a 4.5% cost of living adjustment (COLA) increase—effective November 1, 2022—as part of a series of measures to enhance statewide workforce recruitment and retention efforts.
The governor’s action follows official budget projections from the Board of Revenue Estimates showing that the state is reporting a multi-billion dollar surplus for the second consecutive year. After inheriting a $5.1 billion structural budget deficit, the governor will leave office with a record $5.5 billion in reserves—a more than $10 billion swing in the state’s fiscal fortunes under the Hogan administration.
“After once again holding the line and bringing fiscal responsibility to Annapolis, we are able to take additional steps to honor our firefighters, law enforcement officers, nurses, and state employees for the meaningful work they do to change Maryland for the better,” said Governor Hogan. “This cost of living adjustment will help state employees and their families with the challenges they face from historic inflation, and—amid the post-pandemic labor shortage—today’s actions advance our enhanced efforts to recruit and retain a talented workforce.”
Enhanced Recruitment and Retention Measures. In March, the governor announced a first-in-the-nation partnership to remove the four-year degree requirement for thousands of state job announcements, establishing a model for other states to follow. In addition, the governor directed the Maryland Department of Budget and Management to remove all barriers and bottlenecks in order to expedite hires.
Background on Today’s COLA Action. The governor is again fulfilling his pledge from last year to dedicate a portion of the state’s surplus for state employees. Despite the legislature’s expressed preference that only certain state employees receive increases, the governor waited until official budget projections were released and took actions that reflect a more equitable approach for all state employees.