Maryland General Assembly’s Epic Budget Fail

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The end of a legislative session is like the end of a basketball game.  It is suddenly nothing more than a race against the clock. At least that’s how it was Monday night, when the Maryland General Assembly ended its session at midnight before passing a tax increase necessary to prevent the notorious “doomsday budget” from becoming reality. If no special session is called, Maryland will make huge cuts in spending, which “include over $200 million to K-12 education and $63 million to colleges and universities.”

It’s one of those incredibly pathetic moments in politics, in which our representatives are handcuffed by their own ground rules. Sure, the House of Delegates had the opportunity to extend the legislative session by five days, but that measure was voted down. All the grandstanding, the mudslinging, the interminable campaigns — we endure all of that in the hopes that when it comes down to it our representatives will actually do their jobs.

Still, assuming that Gov. Martin O’Malley will call a special session to tie up loose ends — which he has not yet announced he will do — the legislatus interruptus is almost worth it for House Minority Leader Tony O’Donnell’s angry take on the epic fail: “We screwed around on same sex marriage forever.” Okay, maybe it’s only really funny if you imagine him saying it in an exasperated Nixon voice, as I do.



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