House and Senate budget conferees could complete their work as early as today, but differences with the Administration over items funded in the FY 2016 budget could take much longer to resolve. As reported by the Washington Post,
The General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, has rejected some of Hogan’s legislative proposals and significantly watered down others. The first-year Republican governor, in turn, did not include funding for some top Democratic priorities — including additional funding for schools and a pay raise for state workers — in his supplemental budget proposal.
Instead, the supplemental budget includes money for several of Hogan’s tax-relief initiatives, including one that exempts police, firefighters and other first responders from paying income taxes on a chunk of their pensions and another that provides tax credits to companies that donate to private schools.
In an interview with the Associated Press and reported in the Washington Post, Governor Hogan stated that the budget is a “long way from being resolved.”
Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Delegate Maggie McIntosh, also expressed disappointment. As reported by the Baltimore Sun,
McIntosh said lawmakers were disappointed that Hogan’s supplemental budget used only $2 million of the money lawmakers cut — $178 million by the House and $206 million by the Senate — to address the legislature’s priorities including education, health care and restoring state employee raises. The $2 million was for heroin treatment.
“Where’s the other $176 million or $204 million?” McIntosh asked.
For more information on the proposed FY 2016 budget and the House and Senate budget plans, see our previous posts on Conduit Street.