Thursday, May 17, 2012

ROLL CALL: Maryland Senators & Delegates Vote on Income Tax Hike & More // Increase on Top 16% To Avoid Doomsday Budget

UPDATE: We added some House roll call information below.

BACKGROUND: On Monday, Maryland Juice appeared on News Channel 8 with former Sen. David Harrington to discuss this week's special legislative session in Annapolis. We noted that House and Senate leaders had secured the votes to pass a budget and revenue package, and that they had done so prior to Monday's start of the session. As a result, we expected to see legislators avoid the "Doomsday Budget" and approve a 0.25% income tax increase on the top 16% of earners (ie: individuals making over $100,000 and couples making over $150,000).

Yesterday, a majority of Maryland lawmakers made this prediction a reality. Below we print information on how legislators voted on the three pieces of legislation discussed in the special session: 1. budget (SB 1301/HB 1801), 2. tax & revenue (SB 1302/HB 1802), 3. school bonds (SB 1303/HB 1803). We start with a quick video message from Governor Martin O'Malley regarding the income tax hike. The video below is from WBAL:

TEACHERS PROVIDE SENATE ROLL CALL VOTES: The Montgomery County teachers union (MCEA) provided updates on the budget and tax bills during the special session. Their blog provided information on how Senators voted (excerpt below), but note that the votes were mostly party-line. Senator Brian Frosh was the only Democrat opposed to the budget, but the tax hike (called a "revenue bill" below) was opposed by seven Democratic Senators:

After morning floor debate, the Senate took final action on the three budget-related bills (review of all three bills below).
  • The budget reconciliation bill passed 33-13 (The 12 Republican senators were joined by Senator Brian Frosh in opposition.)
  • The revenue bill passed 27-19 (All Republicans plus Sens. John Astle, Jim Brochin, Roy Dyson, Jim Mathias, Anthony Muse, Norman Stone and Bobby Zirkin opposed. Sen. Kathy Klausmeier was absent today.)
  • The bond bill passed without opposition (46-0).
Upon passage, the bills moved to the House of Delegates. The House Appropriations and Ways & Means committees moved the bills to the full House for second reader debate.

The House debate followed a similar script to the Senate debate, in terms of amendments offered and rejected. But there was an attempt by some Democrats who had supported the revenue deal in March, but now wanted to introduce a new approach --- scrap the income tax plan in SB 1302 and replace it with a penny increase in the sales tax. This effort was soundly defeated on a voice vote and the revenue bill remained unchanged and on track.

It remains to be seen, however, if the fracture in taxing approaches puts in jeopardy the ability to pass the revenue bill on third reader tomorrow. The bill in March earned 81 House votes, and needs 71 in order to pass third reader tomorrow.

By the time the House adjourned tonight, they had rejected all 16 amendments offered during the second reader debate and provided preliminary approval of the budget plan --- still in the form as approved in the Senate.

AP PROVIDES HOUSE INCOME TAX ROLL CALL VOTES:  The Montgomery County teachers union also provided information on how the House handled the various bills during the special session. The Associated Press elaborated with the roll call voting records for the income tax hike. See below:

This time when the General Assembly adjourned, the work to fully fund our schools, and protect critical services and investments had been done.  The third and final day of a scripted and predictable special session concluded with approval from the House of Delegates on the three bills that constituted the budget agreement to avoid the Doomsday Budget cuts.

After another round of debate, the House took final action on the budget bills (review of all three bills below).
  • The budget reconciliation bill passed 86-51* (1 Republican voted YES, and 10 Democrats voted NO.  Four legislators are absent).
  • The revenue bill passed 77-60* (All Republicans who were present opposed this and were joined by 18 Democrats).
  • The bond bill passed with some Republican votes, 99-37*.

HOUSE DEMOCRATS AGAINST INCOME TAX HIKE: No Republicans voted for the income tax hike, which passed in the House with the support of 77 Democrats. The AP provides the full roll call, but below we excerpt the names of the handful of Democrats who bucked leadership and voted against the income tax hike.
Democrats Against:
Alston, Tiffany, Prince George’s
Barkley, Charles, Montgomery
Beidle, Pamela, Anne Arundel
Bohanan, John, St. Mary’s
Bromwell, Eric, Baltimore County
DeBoy, Steven, Baltimore County
Gutierrez, Ana Sol, Prince George’s Montgomery
James, Mary-Dulany, Harford
Kelly, Ariana, Montgomery
Kelly, Kevin, Allegany
Minnick, Joseph, Baltimore County
Morhaim, Dan, Baltimore County
Olszewski, John, Baltimore County
Reznik, Kirill, Montgomery
Rudolph, David, Cecil
Sophocleus, Theodore, Anne Arundel
Weir, Michael, Baltimore County
Wood, John, St. Mary’s

HOUSE DEMOCRATS AGAINST BUDGET: On the budget bill, we noted above that Senator Brian Frosh was the only Democrat to oppose the bill in his chamber. However, on the House side, a few Democrats voted against the budget. No Republicans voted for the budget. Below Maryland Juice has tallied some of the votes (see full roll call), but please let me know if you see an error (
Democrats Against:
Kelly, A.


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