Monday, May 14, 2012

VIDEO: Maryland Juice & Sen. David Harrington Explain Budget Battle on News Channel 8 // P.G. Casinos, Pension Shift & More

BACKGROUND: This morning, Maryland Juice had the opportunity to appear on News Channel 8's News Talk show. I appeared alongside former State Senator David Harrington (Prince George's Democrat) to talk about what outcomes to expect from Maryland's special legislative session.

As you may have heard, Maryland lawmakers failed to pass a complete budget package when they adjourned last April. The Maryland House and Senate returned to work today to try and pass a plan that would reduce the State's structural deficit, preserve education funding, and impact only the top 16% of earners with a modest 0.25% tax hike. Under the new plan, a family making $170,000 a year would see their tax bill rise a little over $20/month. We posted leaked copies of the budget plan on Friday night. Most observers expect these bills to pass without significant change, and for the legislature to be done with its business by Wednesday.

Watch my News Channel 8 conversation with former Sen. David Harrington below:

The Associated Press today had a quick summary of Maryland's budget debate (excerpt below):
AP: Lawmakers headed back to Annapolis for a three-day special session to approve a budget deal hashed out by Gov. Martin O'Malley and House and Senate leaders....

The Democratic governor says the tax hikes are necessary to avoid cuts to education and other critical services.

O'Malley met with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch to craft the tax plan and other measures after the Democratic-controlled legislature failed to approve a budget plan on the final day of the session.

Outside the special session, Americans for Prosperity, a Tea Party group, carried signs for hours, angry over the likelihood of major tax hikes.

However, the governor, House and Senate reached a deal to raise $250 million in taxes on the 17 percent of Maryland residents who make at least $100,000 a year alone or $150,000 jointly with a spouse.

They will also shift more of the burden for teacher pensions from the state and onto counties.


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