Reporting Pat Warren
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)– Governor Martin O’Malley is expected to sign the state’s new income tax hike into law next week. He called the General Assembly into special session this week to raise taxes to avoid cuts in 2013 budget. State comptroller Peter Franchot was among those objecting to the tax hike.
He tells political reporter Pat Warren he is considering a run for governor himself.
The tax hike brokered by the governor and legislative leaders takes effect over the objections of Republicans in the House of Delegates and Senate, and echoed by Democrat Peter Franchot. He stood with protesters at the State House against the governor’s plan to cut real estate exemptions. And he opposes any plan Gov. O’Malley has to raise taxes on gasoline.
“I’m just concentrating on what works,” Franchot said. “I could care less whether it’s Republican or Democratic. If policies are going to help employment and help us get our feet back on the ground, I’m more than happy to articulate it.”
And what works for Franchot as good government might also position him for a run for governor.
“I will take a look at it because the economy is really, really soft and we need more fiscal strength and fiscal responsibility to allow us to do the social things that we want– the education, the health care. We can’t do that if we can’t pay for it,” he said.
For now, he says he will concentrate on helping Maryland families and small businesses.
“In the real Maryland economy, there’s a lot of suffering. In Annapolis, it’s as if people couldn’t care or are just un-informed about it,” Franchot said.
O’Malley has confirmed a second special session this summer on expanded gaming. Not surprisingly, Franchot sees some danger in that as well.
Franchot served in the House of Delegates for 20 years before being elected state comptroller.