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Md. Lawmakers Call On Governor Not To Raise Taxes

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PatWarrenWebPhoto Pat Warren
Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Some Maryland lawmakers are calling on Governor Martin O’Malley not to raise taxes.

O’Malley is considering a special session of the General Assembly to raise revenues for the 2013 state budget but, as political reporter Pat Warren explains, House Republicans announced Tuesday that would be a mistake.

Silencing the voice of doom.

“There is no doomsday budget. It’s a default budget. The only doomsday that looms out there is if we’re called back into special session,” said Del. Mike Smigiel, (R) Eastern Shore.

At which point, say House Republicans, it’s the taxpayers who will be doomed. The so-called doomsday budget requires $512 million in cuts because the General Assembly didn’t raise taxes, but the 2013 budget is still $700 million more than 2012.

“There’s been no cut in the budget in Maryland at all for the last seven years,” said Smigiel.

But the voice of the opposition may be drowned out by warnings of cuts to education and public safety.

“It’s part of an incredible spin to get up anxiety among citizens but it is a lie and our leaders ought to quit lying to the citizens of this state,” said Delegate Tony O’Donnell, House Minority Leader.

O’Malley says he won’t call a special session until there’s a consensus between the House and Senate leadership.

“It could well be if the two houses are not able to reach a consensus, then school boards and counties may have to live with these deep cuts and all of us will be reminded how public education, public safety and affordable college are shared responsibilities in the state of Maryland,” said O’Malley.

While there are concerns about cuts, House Republicans say their constituents are telling them, “You had your 90 days. Go home.”

O’Malley was expected to meet with the Senate President Tuesday. He reportedly talked to the House Speaker over the weekend.

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