The Washington Post

Maryland lawmakers may return to Annapolis May 14

Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D) speaks in front of Gov. Martin O'Malley(D) at a news conference before the opening of a special session on congressional redistricting in October. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Following a meeting of Democrats in his chamber, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) told reporters Wednesday that he expects a two-day session starting May 14.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) later told the Annapolis press corps that he has asked his members to keep their calendars clear that week. House leaders are planning to meet with Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Thursday.

Lawmakers concluded their annual 90-day session without adopting an agreed-upon revenue package that included an increase in income taxes for those making $100,000 or more.

As a result, more than $500 million in cuts to education and other planned spending will take effect July 1, if lawmakers do not reconvene and reach an agreement.

Busch said Wednesday that “everyone agrees we need to take up where we left off. . . . I think the dialogue and discussions have gone well.”

O’Malley has said he is open to a second special session this summer on gambling, an issue that became intertwined with budget negotiations in the closing hours of the 90-day session.

Miller was pushing for legislation that called for a public vote on allowing a Prince George’s casino as well as table games at Maryland’s five existing slots sites.

O’Malley, Busch and Miller are scheduled to appear together Wednesday afternoon at a bill signing ceremony that will include several of O’Malley’s environmental initiatives.

The three leaders last met at the governor’s mansion last week. During that meeting, a special session during mid-May was part of the discussion over breakfast.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.



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