Continuing on from yesterday's post, the Maryland GOP showed the true colors of the party recently.
Those not from Maryland or living in its neighboring states might not be aware that Maryland has a 90 day legislative session. This year's session ended this month without the legislature passing a balanced budget, which is required by the state constitution. Previously a "doomsday" budget had been passed which would dramatically cut many state departments and programs. This was meant to be a hammer over the heads of the legislature to get them to pass an actual budget that would include tax increases, mostly, if not entirely, on those earning over $100,000 per year.
Both the House and Senate in Maryland are controlled by Democrats, who have a sizable majority and no issues of fillibuster like the US Senate. On first blush, that should make it easy to get a budget through to the Democratic governor to sign. But then you wouldn't be factoring in the personalities and egos of politicians.
While the governor and the leader of the House had agreed with the leader of the Senate on who should face the tax increases and by how much, the Senate leader, Thomas "Mike" Miller, who's also a plaintiff's attorney in the DC suburbs, decided to slip in to the legislation an expansion of gambling in Maryland from slots to table games. Naturally this tanks the agreement that had been reached and triggers the "doomsday" budget.
This bad enough, but at least it's correctible. The legislature will likely be called back for a special session to pass a budget that preserves spending that's important to Maryland voters and raises taxes on high end earners.
So what's the position of the marginalized Maryland GOP?
"Democrats, GOP lawmakers disagree on need for special session
Moody's warns of possible impact on local credit rating
'We can live with this budget for a year,' said Del. Anthony J. O'Donnell, the Republican leader of the House of Delegates. "
The Maryland GOP thinks the "doomsday" budget is just fine. Oh, it may destroy the credit rating of some of the counties, because the counties get their money via the state (other than property tax money), but as long as we're dismantling government, it's all good. Who cares if the state slides into disrepair and the counties have to spend more for any projects because of their damaged credit ratings? There's no tax increase on the higher earners and that's all that's important.
I'm definitely in the camp of Governor Martin O'Malley. "Gov. Martin O'Malley said legislators need to come back to pass a tax increase to "protect the priorities of our state," including its highly rated school systems, affordable college education and health and public safety programs."
All quotes from the Baltimore Sun.