Democrats and Republicans Still Differ on Need for a Special Session

As previously reported on Conduit Street, Democrats and Republicans have differing views on the need for a special session.  Democrats believe the special session is necessary to “protect state priorities,” while Republicans believe the budget that passed the General Assembly should stand.  As reported by the Washington Post:

With the legislature’s inaction last month, more than $500 million in cuts to education, state agencies and other planned spending are scheduled to take effect July 1, a result O’Malley said Friday that he cannot stand.

“There is too much at stake not to move forward,” O’Malley said. “I’m confident that we can come together with the Senate president and House speaker to complete this most important work for the people of our state.”

However, Republicans do not agree with this view.

In an opinion piece distributed to Maryland newspapers this week, House Republican leaders said that such tax increases are damaging to the economy and that the budget that resulted April 9 should stand.

“The legislature should take a breather, live with the budget just passed in April, and begin the 2013 session with a new sense of purpose in January,” said the piece, authored by Minority Leader Anthony J. O’Donnell (R-Calvert) and Minority Whip Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio (R-Talbot).

Now that it has officially been announced, Republican members of the General Assembly are “sensing” whether the special session is really an opportunity. As reported in the Baltimore Sun (limited free views available):

The Democrats across the state and the Republicans across the state and independents across the state are coming to me and saying, ‘Have they lost their minds?”’ said House Minority Leader Anthony J. O’Donnell of Calvert County.

…But to Republicans, doomsday doesn’t look bad at all. They certainly prefer it to a tax increase. And, as many Republicans like to point out, the budget the legislature adopted still represents a $700 million increase in spending over last year.

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