A tale of two administrations

With an emphasis on areas where their policies have diverged, here's a look at the records of Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), whose four-year tenure as governor of Maryland began in 2003, and Martin O'Malley (D), who succeeded Ehrlich in January 2007:

Robert L. Ehrlich (R)

Photo by Susan Biddle - The Washington Post

Martin O'Malley (D)

Photo by Sarah L. Voisin - The Washington Post

State Spending
Total spending in Maryland, not counting money held back in reserves, rose from $22.3 billion the year before Ehrlich took office to $28.1 billion the year he left office -- a 26 percent increase.

Fiscal year/expenditures*
2003 (Glendening) $22.3 billion
2004 (Ehrlich) $22.5 billion
2005 (Ehrlich) $24.0 billion
2006 (Ehrlich) $25.9 billion
2007 (Ehrlich) $28.1 billion
Increase over 2003: 26 percent

Total spending in Maryland, not counting money held back in reserves, rose from $28.1 billion the year before O'Malley took office to a proposed $32 billion for the final year of his term -- an increase of 13.9 percent.

Fiscal year/expenditures*
2008 (O'Malley) $29.4 billion
2009 (O'Malley) $30.7 billion
2010 (O'Malley) $32.2 billion
2011 (O'Malley) $32.0 billion**
Increase over 2007: 13.9 percent
Taxes and Fees
Kept a promise not to raise personal income or sales taxes during tenure but agreed to a state property tax increase in 2003, which was partially rolled back in 2006. Ehrlich also proposed numerous fee increases early in his term, including a new surcharge on sewage and septic systems, higher vehicle registration fees and corporate filing fees. In a 2007 special session, backed increases on the sales tax, corporate income tax, tobacco tax and titling tax. He also supported higher personal income taxes on upper-income earners while cutting taxes for middle- and lower-income earners.
During his four years, proposed $622.7 million for school construction, and the legislature allocated $818.9 million. During first three years, proposed $1 billion for school construction; the legislature allocated more than $1 billion. Has proposed an additional $255.5 million this year, bringing four-year total to $1.3 billion.
Ehrlich won approval from the Bush administration for the 18.8-mile Intercounty Connector. Construction is underway on the highway, which will run across Montgomery and Prince George's counties. During the 2007 special session, O'Malley-backed tax increases and other budget maneuvers resulting in an additional $450 million per year in transportation funding. That figure has dropped significantly, due to subsequent budget transfers and lower-than-expected tax collections. O'Malley has also championed and sought federal funding for the Purple Line, a proposed light-rail link between New Carrollton and Bethesda.

*Expenditures do not include appropriations to state reserve funds. **Proposed. SOURCES: Maryland Department of Legislative Services and news reports. CREDITS: Bill Webster and Sisi Wei - The Washington Post, March 30, 2010.

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