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Maryland Lawmakers Continue Working On Budget Agreement

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The Maryland General Assembly held a special session this weekend to hammer out a budget agreement before Monday's deadline.
The Maryland General Assembly held a special session this weekend to hammer out a budget agreement before Monday's deadline.

After the Maryland General Assembly rejected taxing gas, Gov. Martin O'Malley is now asking lawmakers to hike the state's sales tax by a $.01, which could bring in more than $6 million.

In these lingering, hard economic times, many lawmakers say that poses too much of a burden on residents of the state. But Takoma Park resident Becky says the tax increase is important because it's needed for education and transportation projects.

"I'm sick of the potholes," she says. "I'm sick of people saying that we don't have enough money for our schools, and we need to take care of things."

After shopping for some fruit Silver Spring resident Margaret Forbin decried the idea as too broad. "If they were going to raise taxes on things like sodas, things that are not good, I don't have a problem," she says. "But fruits and vegetables, I would not agree with that.

As for the idea floating around to hike taxes on cigarettes once again? Forbin says she's all for that." I'm for that because it's not good for you, you're not supposed to be smoking anyways," she says.

The state Constitution requires the assembly to pass a budget, and time is ticking away with the session scheduled to end Monday evening.

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