RELEASE: Mayor Orders Freeze on Hiring and Spending

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Bernard C. “Jack” Young


City of Baltimore

250 City Hall • Baltimore, Maryland 21202 • 410-396-3835



March 20, 2020

Media Inquiries:

Joint Information Cente



Mayor Orders Freeze on Hiring and Spending

Mayor's freeze applies to all positions (full-time, contractual, and part-time) and all sources of funds.


BALTIMORE, MD.  — As the City works to slow the the spread of COVID-19, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young has instructed the Finance Department to immediately institute a freeze on all non-essential hiring and spending.

On the hiring side, sworn public safety positions will be exempted. Those positions include police officers, paramedics, firefighters and EMT’s, and sheriff's deputies.

Agencies may request an exemption for other positions by describing the critical service and performance impacts if the position remains unfilled.  Priority will be given to positions that provide direct essential services, and for positions that generate revenue.

This move by Mayor Young allows the City to better preserve resources.

"From a budgeting standpoint, municipalities across the state, and throughout the nation, will need to be fiscally prudent as we navigate this unprecedented emergency," Mayor Young said. "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."

With local and State governments implementing aggressive and necessary steps to protect the public’s health, including closing schools, bars and restaurants, and limiting other large gatherings, the effect is that much of the economic activity that drives City revenues will be slowed, if not halted, for a period of time.

The Finance Department, based on assumptions related to the pandemic, is forecasting sharp declines in a variety of City revenue sources, like the hotel tax, admissions tax, convention center receipts, parking-related revenues, traffic camera revenues, income tax, and many others.