Republicans Talk Stimulus, Plug Tax Bill
Republican leaders of the Maryland General Assembly cautioned this morning against getting hooked on anticipated federal stimulus dollars.
Appearing at a morning news conference, House Minority Leader Anthony J. O'Donnell (R-Calvert) and others argued that the state could face larger budget shortfalls in the future if it plugs current holes in the operating budget with federal funds.
"Stimulus may be important, but what we can't do is bind future generations with excessive spending," said O'Donnell, who was flanked by members of the minority party from both the House and Senate. "We only increase pressures in the out years for tax increases on our citizens."
Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has built $350 million in stimulus funding into his budget proposal for next year. The actual amount could be far higher than that, though there are significant differences between House and Senate versions of the bills in Congress.
The Republicans also used their news conference to highlight legislation that would require 60 percent majorities to pass future tax increases.
Sen. Andrew P. Harris (R-Baltimore County) said the bill would have prevented increases in the sales tax and other levies adopted during the 2007 special session.
February 10, 2009; 11:07 AM ET
Categories: General Assembly , John Wagner
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