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Maryland Politics
Posted at 11:32 AM ET, 04/10/2012

O’Malley passes on chance to call special session


Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., left, and House Speaker Michael E. Busch. (John Wagner - The Washington Post)

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) chided lawmakers Tuesday morning, calling the collapse of a key revenue bill on the legislative session’s closing night “a damn shame” that will hurt education.

O’Malley, however, did not heed appeals to call a special session that would allow the legislature to finish its work.

“No, I didn’t,” the governor said in response to a reporter’s question while seated at a previously scheduled bill signing ceremony where he was flanked by the legislature’s two presiding officers.

“Our leaders weren’t able to come to the census necessary to protect education,” O’Malley told the audience in the State House in Annapolis.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) offered a different assessment, calling the inaction at the end of the 90-day session “a minor bump in the road.”

“We didn’t fail anybody. We have until July 1 to get it right,” Miller said, as he sat next to O’Malley, referring to the start of the state’s next fiscal year.

Miller praised the work during the session of House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel), suggesting that their two chambers could fix any damage done in a brief special session.

“We came up a little short at the end,” Busch said, citing the late agreement on a revenue bill that he blamed Monday on the Senate’s “obsession” with a bill to allow a casino in Prince George’s County. That bill failed as well.

“If you don’t have the ball, you can’t score a touchdown,” said Busch, a former football coach.

O’Malley signed dozens of bills passed earlier in the session, including one to mandate a “maintenance of effort” requirement of localities on education spending.

By  |  11:32 AM ET, 04/10/2012

 
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