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Busch, O'Malley Call For Budget Compromise

Budget bill must be passed by midnight or General Assembly will extend its session.

Gov. Martin O'Malley and House Speaker Michael Busch called on the Senate to compromise on a state budget in time for the General Assembly to end its session at midnight.

"The one constitutional obligation we have is to pass a balanced budget," said Busch, adding that House members assigned to the conference committee were prepared to complete negotiations.

"Because one chamber has an obsession with a certain issue, that they do not want to concur on the budget until that issue is resolved does not initiate any responsible stand for us not to deal with the budget that is in front of us," said Busch, speaking of a Senate effort to expand gambling to include table games and a sixth casino location in Prince George's County.

"They have 11 hours to comply and get the bill through the Senate and to the House or we do not meet our constitutional obligation," said Busch.

"This budget should have been passed three days ago," Busch said.

O'Malley seconded Busch and asked for both chambers to resolve their differences.

"We're down to the final hours of this year's legislative session," said O'Malley.

"The biggest question and the top priority, all of us would agree we have to resolve in the next 12 hours, is the budget," said O'Malley.

"I would really hope all the leaders both the House and Senate come together in a sense of mutual respect, conciliation and compromise in order to do the people's business," said O'Malley.

The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn for the year at midnight tonight. Failure to reach a budget agreement would require legislators to come back on Tuesday.

In reality, legislators do not have until midnight to complete their work on the budget. Rules require that the budget come to the floor in a printed form and Busch said that means a compromise would have to be completed by about 7 p.m. to allow for printing.

O'Malley said he is also hoping to work out a deal on a gas sales tax or penny increase to the sales tax that would be dedicated to transportation projects.

"That one will be a very, very tough lift in the next 11 hours," said O'Malley, speaking of either increase.

johnny towson April 09, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Paul, I too identify with your frustration and disgust. Thank you for posting.
DS April 09, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Paul - here is the issue - Maryland had become very diverse. We have a lot of "Social" programs that essentially equate to - the more kids you have the more money we will give you! And then we also have astronomical pension plans that need to be supported. And we have Politicians raiding one fund for another cause. Now the voters that are electing Martin OWE Malley and his "spend happy" friends do so because he gives them what they want. The rest of us - who get up in the morning - go to work - save - and live within our means - are left to pay the bill. The the rest of us are unfortunately in the minority now and we don't have the votes to throw the Democrats out. So whether it's Marty - or the Lt Governor who will run next time as Governor and is being schooled on how to spend as we speak - can pass any tax, marriage, illegal alien law they want. Hope this helps.
Pat April 09, 2012 at 10:55 PM
The two richest counties that live off the teet of D.C. keep putting these clowns back in office. Also the poorest folks in this state keep putting these clowns in office. The rich get their fringe benefits for their support. The poor keep getting free money through the ''social programs'' for their support. Kills me that Balto. City residents are all upset about the beverage tax increase but they are too stupid to realize that they keep voting the tax and spend politicians into office. Quitting my job, starting a crack cocaine habit, having at least three bastard children, and getting paid by the state is looking real good about now. I bet if I take in a few illegals I could get more free money. Woo Hoo!!!!
DHAMMER April 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Does Anybody want to take up a collection and put these Clowns on a plane south.They just don't get it. It's time to surround Annapolis and give them an ear full.We the Maryland Taxpayers own this State and not the spend free Clowns at the State Capital !! It's time for new Clowns and a Ring Master
JH April 10, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Taxes are already way too high in Maryland. Too much waste and fraud in Maryland Medicaid and other programs. And too many freeloaders and deadbeats that don't pay any state income taxes. Just say no to higher taxes.

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