House Minority leader Anthony O'Donnell speaking on the floor of the House of Delegates during his speech where he challenged Democrats to defend the budget plan lawmakers were about to pass.
In Maryland, the House of Delegates approved a budget plan complete with increases to the state's income and "flush" taxes, and it now moves on to the Senate.
It took nearly 11 hours yesterday plus an additional 3 today, but ultimately, the final tally was 95-43 in favor of the budget. While Republicans are in the minority in Annapolis, they were not when it came to speaking on the House floor this morning. House Minority leader Anthony O'Donnell of southern Maryland decried the tax increases and the silence from Democrats.
"We're taking money, taking money, taking money -- even the President of the United States says in this economy it's a bad time to raise taxes on the middle class," says O'Donnell. "But in Maryland, we're going get it down to $100,000 income. I wouldn't want to defend this thing either."
House majority leader Democrat Kumar Barve of Montgomery County responded to O'Donnell's challenge.
"In Maryland, as in most of America, people have children who go to public school systems," says Barve. "In Maryland, as in most of America, during recessions more people need government-run health services. That is why in many cases we need to increase spending."
The income tax hike affects those who make $100,000 a year or more. The budget plan also includes the gradual shifting of the paying of teacher pensions from the state to county governments.