As the Senate and House budget leaders begin their work to resolve the relatively minor differences in their approaches, much hinges on a large-scale resolution to both budget funding itself and other elements of the Governor’s legislative agenda for 2015.
Gov. Larry Hogan (R) withheld money for schools and employee pay raises in a supplemental budget proposal he released on Thursday, a move that leaves the funding for the two areas that the General Assembly restored in its budget plan at risk.
Hogan instead included funding for several initiatives that the Democratic-controlled General Assembly have either killed or modified, including an exemption for police, firefighters and other first responders from paying income taxes on a chunk of their pensions.
The supplemental budget is an adjustment to an original spending plan that comes after the budget has been introduced to the legislature. Under Maryland law, the legislature cannot add money to the budget, but can only make reductions. Lawmakers this session set aside money for priorities that Hogan did not put in his original budget, but the governor did not include that school and salary funding in his supplement proposal.