Maryland’s annual legislative session ended in a standoff Monday night, with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan vowing not to spend money lawmakers allocated for schools and other priorities after the General Assembly refused to fund some of his budget requests.
In the closing hours of the 90-day session, the Senate and the House of Delegates voted along party lines to approve a spending plan that included less funding than Hogan sought to shore up the state pension fund and did not go as far as the governor wanted in trimming the state’s structural budget deficit.
As a result, Hogan said he would refuse to use money the legislature earmarked to preserve state pay raises, full funding for the most expensive school districts and several health-related initiatives. “In all likelihood, we will probably have to use the money [in future years] to fix the problem they created,” Hogan said.
House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) said the negotiations with Hogan “put a real damper” on bipartisanship. “There’s going to have to be some wounds healed,” he said.
The split stood in stark contrast to the beginning of the 90-day session, when the Republican governor and the Democrats who control both houses of the legislature pledged to compromise for the good of the state. It also set off an immediate round of lobbying by education activists and advocates for the poor who urged the governor to use the funds in the budget as the legislature intended.
>>> Read more