Skip to comments.Virginia, Maryland Budget Articles for April 9, 2004
Posted on 04/09/2004 12:54:41 PM PDT by cogitator
Our story so far: in Virginia, a Dem governor proposes tax hikes and new spending, a GOP Senate proposes much more taxes and more spending, a GOP House proposes a little bit of new taxes and minimal new spending. Stalemate and no budget; extended Assembly session; possible glimmerings of compromise with a bit more taxes and a bit more spending.
And in Maryland: a GOP governor proposes no new taxes, considerable new spending, and will pay for it by raising fees and inviting in thousands of slot machines. A Dem Senate essentially goes along with the Governor's plan; a Dem House (led by a particularly dumb Dem Speaker) proposes no new slots, then new slots in GOP districts, as long as the Governor accepts new taxes, too. Stalemate and no budget; no one right now sees a way out of this one.
OK, I have to say it: a pox on both these Houses.
Anyway, here's what some of the papers are saying today:
For Va. tax mavericks, pressure is on
"The Republican delegates who broke from their party's anti-tax roots this week are a diverse -- potentially fragile -- coalition of lawmakers with as little in common as the mountain, valley and suburban districts they represent.
Some of the delegates are rural newcomers with a keen ear to their constituents' desires. Others are Northern Virginia graybeards who control some of the chamber's most powerful committees. A handful of veterans in the group have long thought that the state needs more revenue, while others are simply eager to do whatever they can to get a deal done with Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) and the state Senate so they can get on with their lives."
Md. officials deadlocked on budget
" But with just days left until the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn Monday, [Senate President] Miller said he was "not optimistic" that [House Speaker] Busch, a diehard opponent of expanded gambling, would support a politically viable slots bill. Nor did it seem likely, he said, that [Governor} Ehrlich, who campaigned against new taxes, would agree to Busch's demand for a major tax increase to solve the state's long-term budget problems.
After threatening for a week to throw the session into overtime, Miller said he would allow work to proceed today on the state's $23.6 billion budget. "It's important that we fashion a capital budget, an operating budget" and close some corporate tax loopholes, Miller said. If the slots and tax deal "is going to work, it's going to work apart from" the budget process, he said.
Votes expected Tuesday on budget compromise
"Tuesday may be D-day, decision day, for the deadlocked General Assembly.
The House of Delegates has delayed until then a floor session to vote on a proposed compromise tax increase. The Senate will meet three hours later, also in full session, an indication that senators believe the House will send over a bill they can vote on."
What new spending is he proposing?
Fully-funding the Thornton plan (idiotic), Chesapeake Bay cleanup, Montgomery Intercounty Connector, to name three big ticket items.
It looks like our cigarette tax is increasing from $.02 to $.25, not that I smoke, but the idea of a "sin" tax irritates the crap out of me. On what grounds is a government justified in determining what is a sin?
Well, he committed to funding it in the election, and he said he would, but this is the first year it's been in the budget. Though it would have been political suicide, he could have said that funding Thornton isn't feasible (which I agree with) and proposed a more reasonable budget.