House Appropriations Committee chairman, Delegate Lacey Putney, I-Bedford, addressing the House March 1.
And we’re back…
Last night the Virginia Senate finally passed a spending plan, a sign that things were looking better for the split legislature. Just weeks ago the Democrats rejected two previous budget proposals, erupting the whole legislature into partisan fury.
And now, less than 24 hours since celebrations commenced, the House of Delegates voted 69-23 to reject the Senate’s amendments to the budget.
Senate amendments to the two-year, $85 billion budget include pumping tens of millions of additional dollars into public schools, health care and transportation, notably $300 million for a Metrorail extension to Dulles Airport.
If the House insists on its amendments, which the RTD reports is expected, a conference committee of 12 lawmakers will meet to work out differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget.
* The dragged out GOP presidential primary is giving Maryland a little more attention than it typically receives from primary candidates.
Today New Gingrich was in Annapolis and spoke to the Maryland Senate, visited small businesses and criticized Gov. O’Malley’s proposal to raise the gas tax, the Washington Post reported.
Santorum was also in the area this week and held an event Monday outside the Supreme Court protesting Obama’s federal health care law.
Gov. O’Malley tweeted this in response to the visits:
.@RickSantorum & @NewtGingrich are in MD today. They should visit our GM Plant in Baltimore – they’re hiring.
The Maryland Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would expand gambling to allow games at all casino locations in the state.
The legislation would also allow for a sixth casino license in Prince George’s County, The Washington Examiner reported.
The senators voted 35-11 for the gambling bill. Six of Prince George’s County's lawmakers voted in favor of the measure while two voted against it.
* Washington City Paper published some endorsements today for D.C.’s April 3 primaries. This is the paper’s second list of endorsements. These four new endorsements join last week's picks: Sekou Biddle for D.C. Council at-large, write-in for Ward 2, Muriel Bowser in Ward 4 and Jacque Patterson in Ward 8.
This time around, Washington City Paper endorses Tom Brown for Ward 7, Michael D. Brown for shadow senator, Nate Bennett-Fleming’s for shadow representative and Eleanor Holmes Norton for U.S. Delegate.
The paper only endorsed in the Democrat primaries.
“Why only the Democrats? Because in a town as one-party as the District, that primary is the real election.”
*President Barack Obama's presidential campaign will open two new offices in Virginia, adding to the seven he already has in the swing-state.
The two new offices will be in Prince William and Loudoun counties, traditionally key counties for winning the state.