The future of Maryland's budget is still unclear days after the legislative session ended in Annapolis. The General Assembly failed to pass a revenue plan before members adjourned Monday night, leaving the state to face hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts for the next fiscal year. Meanwhile, in Virginia, Prince William Board of Supervisors' Chairman Corey Stewart has announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor. Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney provides an analysis on those stories. Following are highlights of the interview.
McCartney on why Maryland legislators have yet to pass a budget plan: "First, democratically, legislators are wary of raising taxes because they're worried about a backlash at the polls. And then there was disagreement between the House and the Senate for how to do it. The House only wanted to raise taxes on higher-income people, whereas the Senate wanted everybody to contribute," McCartney says. "But the really big issue was gambling, and especially whether to authorize the casinos in Prince George's County."
On whether Maryland will come up with an agreement before the fiscal year begins July 1: "I certainly think they'll get some kind of deal, because the consequences of failure would just be too severe and too embarrassing for everybody," he says. "Without a deal, you have $500 million in spending cuts, and that would fall very heavily on K-12 education. On college costs, and it would push up tuition by 10 percent or more."
On Republican Corey Stewart's announcement he will run for Virginia's lieutenant governor: "There's no surprise Corey Stewart is running. He's had his eye on this office for a while. He would have run in 2009 except that Bill Bolling ran for reelection and, of course, won. I think the most interesting thing to watch for will be the impact in this race of Stewart's very high profile as an opponent of illegal immigration. He is best known, by far, as leading the effort in 2007 and 2008 to discourage the presence of undocumented immigration in Prince William County.