Morning Read: Maryland Fails To Pass Complete Budget - NBC4 Washington
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Morning Read: Maryland Fails To Pass Complete Budget



    The clock ran out and the Maryland General Assembly failed to pass an income tax measure to its $35 billion spending plan before the legislative session adjourned at midnight.

    This means that the legislature passed a tentative “doomsday” budget -- a worst-case scenario budget that was balanced solely through hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts.

    The Baltimore Sun reports that the House and Senate leaders plan to ask the governor to call a special session this week to allow them to work out tax increases to avoid the most severe cuts.

    This is the first time since 1992 that the legislature has not completed its budget before the 90-day session adjourned.

    Earlier in the night, the leaders had apparently reached a tentative agreement on a plan to increase income taxes in order to balance the budget.

    Via The Sun:

    “Democratic budget negotiators had broken a deadlock Monday afternoon when the Senate gave in to the House position that individuals earning less than $100,000 and families making under $150,000 should not have to pay higher income taxes. Marylanders with incomes higher than those levels would pay from one-fourth to three-fourths of a percentage point more.”

    But time ran out before they could vote on this.

    Gov. Martin O’Malley was clearly not happy about the outcome Monday night and had some words for the state legislators.

    Via AP:

    "We failed to protect the priorities that allow our state to move forward and be a state with an increasingly higher level of skills in our workforce, a higher level of education for our kids, and that is not in keeping with what the people of our state expect of their Legislature, especially in difficult times," O'Malley said. 

    * Lawmakers also failed to pass a high-profile bill to expand gambling in the state to include table games.

    The bill would have allowed for the tables and a new gambling site -- the sixth in the state -- in Prince George’s County.

    If the governor approves a special session, this legislation could still pass.

    * Overall, it was a bad day for the governor.

    In addition to the budget not being passed in its entirety, the close of the 90-day session marked two big legislative losses for O’Malley.

    His 6 percent sales tax on gas failed to make it out of committee in both chambers and a measure that would have called for more investment in wind energy was rejected for the second year in a row.

    According to The Washington Examiner, O'Malley said he would push the wind measure again next year, saying that it only failed by one vote in the finance committee.

    * NBC4’s Julie Carey has the latest news on Bruce Shuttleworth’s run for a congressional seat representing Virginia’s 8th District:

    It turns out Democratic Congressman Jim Moran will have a primary challenger after all. Virginia's 8th Congressional District Democratic Committee has now certified Bruce Shuttleworth as a candidate for the June 12th primary. The committee had previously announced that Shuttleworth had not met the requirement of 1000 valid signatures to get on the ballot. But yesterday, one local registrar's office that had reviewed the ballot petitions discovered it had missed some in its count.

    Shuttleworth had planned a Tuesday news conference to spotlight details of a lawsuit he'd filed in federal court against the 8th Congressional District Democratic Committee. Shuttleworth accused the committee of irregularities in counting ballot petitions and alleged hundreds of valid signatures were omitted.

    Shuttleworth's campaign had submitted 1,823 signatures, but the Committee initially only found 983 to be valid and denied Shuttleworth a spot on the ballot. Shuttleworth is a former Navy fighter pilot and Harvard Business School graduate. He lives in Arlington. Jim Moran is seeking his 12th term in Congress.

    * A ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday commemorated the renewal of Howard Theatre -- a historic theatre on T Street NW that was shuttered more than three decades ago.

    After a $29 million renovation, according to The DCist, the theatre opened Monday night with a concert by Wale.

    The attendees at the ceremony included Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Mayor Vincent Gray.

    Via DCist:

    "Some people thought that D.C. was back when baseball came back," Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton said. "D.C. is back because the Howard is back!"

    "I think the Marvin we ought to be talking about is 'Let's Get it On'," Gray said. "Reminds me of being so proud to grow up in D.C."

    The theatre opened in 1910 and closed in 1980. Legendary musicians such as James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye have all performed at Howard Theatre.

    * Gov. Bob McDonnell is expected to propose today a measure that would give local governments the option of phasing in a 5 percent pay increase to teachers and local employees. This would be required under the same legislation that calls for teachers and local employees to contribute 5 percent of their salaries to retirement.

    Local governments, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch, strongly oppose the amendment to the bill because of the additional federal taxes and retirement contributions they and employees would pay on the higher salaries.

    Via The RTD:

    The proposed amendment "if successful, will transform a bad bill into a slightly less bad one," said Mary Jo Fields, research director at the Virginia Municipal League. "Taxpayers pay more; employees pay more; and the unfunded liability (for the retirement system) increases."

    McDonnell’s office is expected to brief officials on the proposed changes today and will also announce all of the governor’s proposed amendments to adopted legislation.