ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Budget crisis averted. Powerful political leaders went head-to-head over funding for the state for hours. The General Assembly has passed a final budget.
Political reporter Pat Warren explains how the standoff in Annapolis ended.
Hours before the midnight deadline, the General Assembly put the budget to bed–but without restoring the $75 million in pension funds the governor had requested.
Like two tin cans on a string, the governor on the second floor, the House and Senate on the first floor seemed to have trouble at times communicating over a final budget plan.
“It’s the last day of the session. And for 86 days, everything was hunky-dory. Everybody agreed upon itTo find this glitch at the end is just kind of goofy,” said Senate President Mike Miller.
“Last we heard they had a press conference saying things like, ‘They don’t have a proposal, they’re waiting for something from us.’ That’s not true,” said Governor Larry Hogan.
The state budget was a focal point long before the session started. Larry Hogan ran on it, and has been consistently criticizing the Democrat majority of running amok with it.
In the end, it was the Democrats who have the last word.
“Our public school employees got taken care of, our Medicaid family got taken care of,” said Miller. “The governor is almost declaring defeat on the eve of a great victory.”
“We broke the streak after eight years of 40 consecutive tax hikes that took an additional $10 billion out of the pockets of struggling Maryland families and small businesses. There will be no tax increases in Maryland this year,” said Gov. Hogan.
It is Sine Die, and at the end of the day, nobody wants to look bad.
The governor also points out that even though $202 million has been put in the budget for K-12 education, for cost of living raises and for health programs, that doesn’t necessary mean it will be spent there.
There are still other bills to consider. Anything that does not pass by midnight, dies.