Santa Claus and the Grinch
In the next two weeks, Senate budget writers will try to shave $100 million from the spending plan proposed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.
Leading up to those decisions, the Republican governor held a series of news conferences last week to highlight programs he said should be protected, from the salaries of correctional officers to funding for the disabled community. Ehrlich cast recommendations by the Department of Legislative Services as proposed budget reductions from the Democratic-controlled General Assembly and that approach appears to have irritated Democratic budget writers charged with making decisions about what to cut.
"I'm sick and tired of being characterized as the Grinch Who Stole Christmas," said Sen. P.J. Hogan (D-Montgomery), the vice chairman of the Senate budget committee.
"If Santa Claus didn't overspend by $100 million, we wouldn't be in this situation. This is simply a governor who overspent."
A spokeswoman for the governor, Shareese DeLeaver, had a different take on the famous Dr. Seuss tale.
"As I recall the ending of that story correctly," DeLeaver said, "The Grinch became a Santa, so there's still time for the legislature to change its partisan ways."
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