ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Tax hikes are out, and cuts are in. That’s the way the General Assembly left the state budget after failing to pass a revenue package Monday night.
Political reporter Pat Warren has more on the hundreds of millions of dollars at risk and what can be done about it.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in education and public funding are on the line. The General Assembly had until midnight to pass a revenue package, and failed.
The General Assembly hands over a budget full of cuts to education and public safety.
“Which is really a damn shame,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley.
A plan to fund the budget with an income tax hike never got a vote.
“Pretty much the low point in my experience here,” said O’Malley.
The Speaker of the House points to the Senate for letting the clock run out.
“I learned one thing when I played sports. If you don’t have the ball you can’t score a touchdown, and if you don’t have the revenue package you can’t make the vote on it,” said Michael Busch.
The Senate President believes there wasn’t a strong enough will to raise revenues in the House.
“The reason we passed a doomsday budget was to give people of false heart courage to pass taxes,” said Mike Miller. “That’s the reason we put that doomsday budget out there. If you don’t have the chutzpah or the nerve or the guts or the gumption to pass taxes, that’s what’s going to happen.”
That doomsday budget is also expected to motivate lawmakers to come back and work out a better solution than the proposal that was supposed to be approved Monday night. But the governor believes the General Assembly missed the mark.
“We had the ability and I think the people of our state had the will, but our leaders weren’t able to come to the consensus necessary to protect education,” O’Malley said.
The budget takes effect July 1.
“Unfortunately we’re taking a step back,” O’Malley said.
The only way to avoid those cuts is to call a special session in order to find the funding they didn’t provide in the regular session this year. But first it appears everybody needs a cooling off period.
By law Maryland has to have a balanced budget.