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Posted at 8:06 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

Md. Republicans propose "alternate" budget

By Aaron C. Davis

They weren't asked to, but for a second straight year Maryland House Republicans on Tuesday released their own "alternate" budget to Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed spending plan.

By eliminating an education formula that benefits counties with high costs of living, cutting road funding for Baltimore City and trimming or eliminating dozens of other programs, Republicans said they could turn years of projected billion-dollar shortfalls into a balanced budget by 2013, and even a surplus in years after that would go to reducing taxes.

"This plan represents months of deliberations and tough choices," said Del. Gail Bates (R-Howard), the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee. "There are no easy solutions. But this plan puts us on a path to fiscal stability and allows us to alleviate the tax burden on our citizens."

Last year in the run-up to the November election, Democrats in the General Assembly invited Republicans to put forth their own plan for spending cuts after they criticized the governor's plan as "kicking the can down the road."

Tuesday's release lacked such a formal invitation and hearing, but House Minority Leader Anthony J. O'Donnell (R-Calvert) said the House GOP was making a point that "just a little bit of tough medicine now" could have dramatic results when compounded over the years to come.

Here's the presentation Maryland House Republicans distributed. And a list of their specific cuts.

By Aaron C. Davis  | March 1, 2011; 8:06 PM ET
Categories:  Aaron C. Davis  
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