MBRG Calls O’Malley Administration, Legislature “Irresponsible”

TOWSON, MD – In the wake of the chaotic ending to the General Assembly session, Maryland Business for Responsive Government (MBRG) characterized the sloppy budgeting process – the primary duty of the Governor and the legislature under the state constitution – as a failure in leadership.   And the business advocacy organization also noted that the likelihood of a special session only gives legislators and the Administration more time to argue about the details of a number of tax increases including those on gas, sales and income.

"It is an outrage that neither the legislature nor the Governor bothered to lead the state forward. " said MBRG President Kimberly M. Burns.  "This session will be remembered by finger-pointing, dysfunction and chaos, and forgotten in this mess is any plan to help Maryland’s working families and small businesses."

The state has been running $1 billion – plus structural deficits in recent years that have required either spending reductions or raising revenues, with the latter being the preferred option among the state’s top elected officials.   As a result of failing to reach a consensus on the budget measure, a so-called "doomsday budget," intended to give political cover for lawmakers to support more taxes, has been enacted by default.

"Ironically, the Governor and legislature could have called the doomsday budget a ‘new day’ budget, declared victory and gone home," said Burns.  "But it was never intended to be taken seriously, and there will now be a mad scramble to continue government spending at record levels as a special session looms on the horizon."

The doomsday budget, which would slow government spending by over $500 million, goes against the philosophical underpinnings of the Administration and General Assembly leadership, hence the speculation on a special session. MBRG has repeatedly called for a bipartisan approach to scouring the budget line-by-line to identify spending reductions with which to address Maryland’s structural budget deficits.

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