Baltimore is blustering over police aid, Montgomery County is boiling over education, Prince George's is concerned about Metro and just about everybody is alarmed about the prison proposals.
The same legislators who greeted Gov. Harry Hughes' proposed 1981 budget Wednesday with almost universal -- albeit restrained -- praise, by today had worked themselves into fits of pique over many of his proposals.
"Have you seen this thing on education?" Sen. Victor Crawford (D-Montgomery) disgustedly asked one of his colleagues in the Senate's leather-furnished lounge.
"Oh, so it's not so kind to Montgomery," the other senator, engrossed with his own concerns, replied. "Well, don't bleed all over the floor, Vic." w
And so went the grousing, most of it on parochial issues. But the legislative negativism also was running high on one area of state-wide concern -- Hughes' plan to deal with the state's prison problems.
Hughes' prison plans were couched in terms to accommodate the legislators, giving them the prison construction they had clamored for along with the community rehabilitation centers that Hughes himself has championed. But that was not enough, apparently.
"There are problems," white-haired, iron-fisted Del. John R. Hargreaves announced today in his gravelly voice.
"I don't think they are planning construction of medium and maximum security facilities in sufficient size and bed numbers. And if you've got a need for a maximum security facility, I say build the damn thing, and don't come up with these pie-in-the-sky, high-falutin philosophies to skirt the issue."
While Hargreaves, chairman of the committee that wields power over prison construction, paced about his office deriding Hughes' prison proposals, others also were expressing similar concern.
"Community facilities are useful for a certain percentage of the inmate population, but before we do something like that, we have to get the basic system straightened out," said House Majority Leader Donald R. Robertson (D-Montgomery).
Robertson predicted that the legislature "will do some changing" of Hughes proposals, and House Speaker Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Baltimore) agreed that "there's a real serious dispute."
And to hear the legislators tell it, the prison plan is not the only area where there is dissatisfaction.
A proposed change in the amount of Social Security payments the state picks up for teachers would end up depriving Montgomery County of about $600,000 it had counted on for 1981 under the present plan, according to Sen. Laurence Levitan (D-Montgomery).
"Let's not cut away at a formula that gives us a decent break," said Levitan, who predicted that the county could cull enough votes to knock out the Hughes proposal.
While Levitan, who heads the powerful Senate committee that must vote on the budget, talked strategy, another Montgomery proponent was spouting mad.
"In the last 24 hours, you've seen the ship come in and leave laden with money for Baltimore," he said, referring to Hughes' unveiling of the budget Wednesday. "But it left with nothing on it for Montgomery County.
No matter. Baltimore had its own gripes.
Mayor William Donald Shaefer was reported to be "totally shocked and angered" at a Hughes proposal to give the city about $800,000 in police aid. The city, which was dealt a legislative setback in that area last year, had hoped to get more than $3 million in the coming year.
For his part, Hughes said he had made no such commitment to Schaefer and didn't want "to get in a conflict with the mayor."
On this issue, Baltimore picked up an ally in the Prince George's County delegation, where several delegates noted that the county would also lose an expected $100,000 under the new Hughes plan.
But the big concern in both Prince George's and Montgomery was the one issue Hughes failed to address in his budget -- funding for the Washington suburban Metro system. The governor has promised a special message "Shortly" on this issue -- likely to be one of the Thorniest and most important in the session.
"We're troubled by the fact that we haven't gotten a program from the governor yet," said Prince George's delegation head Robert Redding.
"From what I've seen so far (of the budget), Montgomery has gotten a bad deal," said Levitan. "But I rely on the governor's statement that Metro will be taken care of."