Gov. Martin O'Malley (D-Md.) has made it official: there will be a special session of the General Assembly starting May 14.
The session is expected to deal solely with budget issues that were not resolved when lawmakers adjourned their regular session in April. A spending plan was passed, but an agreement could not be reached on how to fund it. Without the funding measure, which includes an income tax hike and the gradual shift of paying teacher pensions to counties, the state would have to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in spending, mostly on education.
Senate and House leaders were unable to reach an agreement on the income tax hike, with the House wanting to raise the tax on the highest earners, while the Senate wanted to spread the increase more evenly on all workers.
In a statement announcing the special session, O'Malley said, "There's too much at stake not to move forward."
O'Malley will join Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Mike Busch next week to give further details.