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O'Malley: Keep Early November Clear

It remains unclear whether Maryland lawmakers will convene this fall for a special session on the state's looming $1.5 bill budget shortfall.

But Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) certainly telegraphed his intentions yesterday.

"Clear your calendars for early November," he said during a breakfast address to a well-attended Democratic fundraiser in Harford County, a Republican pocket of the state.

Later, at an event in Bel Air, O'Malley greeted Del. Susan K. McComas (R-Harford) with these words: "Keep the early part of November clear for me."

That event was among several in the area yesterday to coincide with O'Malley's declaration of Bel Air as the "capital for a day," making it the third municipality to receive the designation since the new administration started the program.

At a news conference where the declaration was made official, O'Malley offered further evidence of eagerness to get on with addressing the budget. He said that the process would become "very open and very public, very, very quickly."

On Tuesday morning, O'Malley is scheduled to meet with the "group of 10" -- five leading senators and five leading delegates -- to continue budget talks. Among the agenda items: O'Malley's desire to cut property taxes and expand the earned income tax credit at the same time other taxes are raised.

House leaders have been unenthusiastic about the prospect of a special session, suggesting they can wait until they are scheduled to reconvene in January to address the $1.5 billion shortfall in the state's $15 billion general fund.

By John Wagner  |  September 14, 2007; 5:18 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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