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Maryland House Speaker Optimistic State Will Emerge From Recession

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By Matt Bush

The Maryland speaker of the House says the state will be one of the first in the U.S. to emerge from the recession.

Speaker Mike Busch says Maryland's unemployment rates will be the reason why. "Right now the unemployment in this country is 10.2 percent," says Busch. "The unemployment rate in Maryland is 7.3 percent."

Lowering that rate even further will be a top priority during the upcoming legislative session, according to Busch. Lawmakers will convene in Annapolis next month.

"One of the proposals that will be put on the table by Governor O'Malley will be to offer a $3,000 tax credit for every business that hires somebody that is unemployed," says Busch.

"We believe we are going to commit at least $20 to $30 million to this program, which I think is to try to get people back into the workplace, and to take some of the pressure off businesses having to pay unemployment insurance many pay now," says Busch.

Paying for the credit could prove tricky, as Maryland is facing a budget deficit expected to exceed $2 billion for the next fiscal year.

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