WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Maryland Lawmakers Confident They Will Avoid 'Doomsday Budget'

Special session likely week of May 14

Play associated audio
With the threat of the 'Doomsday budget' looming, lawmakers at the Annapolis statehouse are under the gun to pass a state budget.
Robert Williams (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwillia532/6023529955/)
With the threat of the 'Doomsday budget' looming, lawmakers at the Annapolis statehouse are under the gun to pass a state budget.

It seems all but certain that Maryland's General Assembly will convene later this month for a special session to complete unfinished work on the state budget, according to key lawmakers in Annapolis.

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is the only person who can call a special session, and he chose not do so during a bill signing ceremony Wednesday afternoon at the Maryland state house. Senate President Mike Miller was pretty determined that lawmakers will be coming back in less than two weeks to avert the so-called "Doomsday" budget, $512 million in cuts that will go into place July 1 unless an alternative is passed.

"I think we're very close, and we're ready to move forward," said Miller. "I think we'll deal with it in a two-day session: May 14 and May 15, perhaps May 16. But it will get done."

To avoid the steep spending cuts in the "Doomsday" plan, lawmakers will, amongst many plans, have to pass an increase to the state income tax. State Sen. Jamie Raskin (D) expects that to be the only major topic during the special session.

"All of us got a little egg on our face by ending without budget clarity," he said. "And I think everybody wants to go back into session and get the job done right. We were very close to an agreement between the House and the Senate when we left."

A measure to expand gaming and allow a casino license for Prince George's County held up budget talks during the regular session. Miller, the most vocal supporter of that plan, would like to see it addressed during the May special session, but he conceded Wednesday that doesn't seem likely to happen — which will delay the casino's construction.

"Unlike any state in the union, you have to go back and get everything approved by referendum," Miller said. Which is a very difficult way to run a business much less an operation as big as this. But if we don't get this done now, it won't go to referendum until 2014."

NPR

No Longer Omar: Actor Michael K. Williams On Lucky Breaks And Letting Go

Over the course of his career, Williams says he's learned to separate himself from his characters (like The Wire's Omar). In HBO's The Night Of, he plays a powerful prison inmate named Freddy.
NPR

#FoodPorn, Circa 1600s: Then And Now, It Was More About Status Than Appetite

A new study of old masters finds that capturing and showing off decadent and expensive meals is a decidedly old-fashioned practice. Like today's Instagrammers, it was all about projecting an image.
NPR

Spurned Sanders Supporters Disrupt Day 1 Of DNC With Boos And Jeers

Outside the convention, supporters of Bernie Sanders demonstrated against what they said was a rigged system, while the atmosphere turned chaotic inside the conventional hall.
NPR

The Big Internet Brands Of The '90s — Where Are They Now?

Verizon's purchase of Yahoo will close the book on one of the oldest Internet companies. What happened to the other famous 90s brands, like GeoCities, Netscape and CompuServe? A nerdy remembrance.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.