Local

Gov. O’Malley To Meet With House & Senate Leaders To Discuss Budget

View Comments
General Assembly
Warren Pat 370x278 (2) Pat Warren
Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
Read More

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up
Popular Entertainment Photo Galleries

POEts: The Legendary, The Celebrity, The Local, The ControversialPOEts: The Legendary, The Celebrity, The Local, The Controversial

Celebrities Born Outside The U.S.Celebrities Born Outside The U.S.

Top Celebrities On TwitterTop Celebrities On Twitter

Ranking Stephen KingRanking Stephen King

Famous Women Who Underwent Double MastectomiesFamous Women Who Underwent Double Mastectomies

» More Photo Galleries

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Under the ax. Millions of dollars in state budget cuts take effect July 1 unless the General Assembly agrees on a plan to raise taxes.

Political reporter Pat Warren has the latest on Maryland’s doomsday budget.

Governor O’Malley says he’ll meet with House and Senate leaders in the next few days. That meeting could include trying to come to an agreement on casino gambling before a special session is called to fill the budget gap.

“I’m fairly ambivalent when it comes to gambling,” O’Malley said.

The House and Senate agreed to compromise on the tax hike. The House also agreed to consider a bill to expand casino gambling.

“We have five sites in our state right now. Should we have six, or is five enough? I don’t know,” O’Malley said.

The Senate wanted slots at National Harbor in Prince George’s County.

“It is a huge tourist destination. It’s a money-maker for the state of Maryland,” said Senate President Thomas V. Mike
Miller.

But the House didn’t follow through.

“When an issue as historically contentious as gambling is inserted into the process as late as it was, it threw the whole deliberative process out of balance,” O’Malley said.

Expanded gambling muddied the waters, and the budget drowned in it.

“We made an agreement. We’re going to pass the gambling bill. We’re going to pass the gambling bill. We had the votes. Well maybe now we don’t have the votes. ‘Well, you don’t have the votes? Guess what? We’ll bring it to the floor. We’ll see what happens.’ It never got to the floor,” Miller said.

Gambling died in the House, and the budget stayed in the Senate.

“There’s always differences of opinion, but what we cannot do is allow the public good and the public interest to become a casualty of old fights and old wounds on the old chestnut of to what degree we should have gambling in the state of Maryland,” said O’Malley.

But that old chestnut is still on the table and will most likely have to be resolved in the process of getting an agreement on what taxes will be raised and by how much to avoid $512 million in budget cuts.

The governor has said he wants to be sure there’s a deal before he calls lawmakers back to Annapolis.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,296 other followers