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Legislative Session Starts Wednesday In Maryland

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The Maryland General Assembly starts it's legislative session Wednesday in Annapolis. This year's session promises to be contentious, as lawmakers will attempt to close a more than $1.3 billion budget deficit.

Gov. Martin O'Malley says he wants to close the deficit without raising any taxes, which means state aid to local governments will be one of the many things on the chopping block. That has local leaders very nervous, including Shirley Brandman, the vice president of the Montgomery County Board of Education.

"What we're hearing clearly creates concerns in terms of what we may be facing," she says. "As the state looks at its yawning deficit, and recognizes -- or the governor at least is hinting that -- though...he has tried to spare education in the past, we may not be spared this time."

Education funding will be one of the major issues, and one of the first hearings set for Thursday will feature a report from state schools Superintendent Nancy Grasmick.

The governor has said federal stimulus money saved many school programs the past two years. But that money is all gone, and new funds won't be coming any time soon.

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