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Maryland Lawmakers Reconvene For Budget Issues

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Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) with Senate President Mike Miller (D), left, and House Speaker Mike Busch (D) will reconvene for a special session Monday.
Matt Bush
Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) with Senate President Mike Miller (D), left, and House Speaker Mike Busch (D) will reconvene for a special session Monday.

On the final day of the Maryland General Assembly's regular session last month, lawmakers had yet to reach agreements on two major issues: how to fund the budget and the expansion of gaming.

As the clock inched toward midnight, it become clear neither issue was to be resolved, and the finger-pointing started. The House wanted to stay in session past midnight to get work done, but Senate President Mike Miller decided his chamber would adjourn.

"The public expects us to get our work done in 90 days," says Miller. "We did the very best we could. I'm not casting any blame on anybody."

That angered House Speaker Mike Busch. "The Senate opted not to extend the session and stay here and do the work of the people. They decided to adjourn with a doomsday budget."

Heading into this special session, both Busch and Miller say there's an agreement already in place to raise the state income tax as a way to avoid the doomsday budget, and also avoid the bickering and finger-pointing of April.

A second special session is likely later this year to address the expansion of gaming.

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