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O’Malley’s $39B Budget Plan Closes $584M Shortfall Without Tax Hike

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Putting your money to work. Governor Martin O’Malley outlines how the state will spend $39 billion in taxpayer money this coming fiscal year.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on what this means for you at home.

You won’t be paying additional taxes, the kids will get new schools and no more texting while doing time.

The governor calls it a “jobs budget.” The money spent on highways, roads, bridge construction and rebuilding public schools is expected to support 48,000 jobs.

“Whether it’s rebuilding our roads and bridges, whether it’s upgrading our water and wastewater infrastructure, whether it’s rebuilding modern classrooms and new schools–these are things that will put 48,000 moms and dads to work,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.

And it will put the kids in better schools, with a lion’s share of the budget–48 cents for every dollar–going to public education, including $300 million for school construction.

“It is record funding for education,” said O’Malley.

Public safety gets 11 cents per dollar, including earmarks for the prison system and a specific allocation to the Baltimore City jail, where the Black Guerrilla Family demonstrated a new depth of failure in the state’s prison system.

“We will soon be flicking the switch on the new technology that we’ve invested in the Baltimore City jail that renders the cell phones as useless as paperweights,” said O’Malley.

Twenty-five cents of every dollar is earmarked for health care. The total budget is $39 billion.

The budget requires approval of the General Assembly, which has set a March 31 deadline.

The budget applies to the fiscal year starting July 1.

Linh Bui spoke to Marylanders about the proposed budget.

“A top priority for the state should be investing in education and the school systems in Baltimore City and the county. I see a lot of schools that are run down and need vast renovations,” said one man.

“Governor O’Malley, you should put more money toward crime prevention because you’re losing a lot of tourists,” said one woman.

“The number one priority in Maryland is you should raise the minimum wage. There’s no reason that people who work full time should be living in poverty so I think raising the minimum wage should be the number one priority,” said another man.

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