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Fiscal challenges deepen for Maryland lawmakers

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s $1.6 billion shortfall for the next fiscal year is presenting an increasingly difficult challenge for Gov. Martin O’Malley and lawmakers after four years of tough budget conditions.

The Maryland General Assembly’s 90-day session begins Wednesday.

O’Malley, who was re-elected in November, says the new budget is the most difficult he has ever put together. He says he’s balancing the budget entirely with cuts, and plans to submit his proposal to lawmakers later this month.

While the state has contended with bigger shortfalls under O’Malley, the state does not have federal stimulus money this time to help soften the blow. The state also has pushed its debt limit in recent years.

One comment

  1. And it’s only going to get worse (or should I say the rich will continue to get rich, and the medium to low will continue to become poor). Let’s take a look at Portugal… they legalized ALL drugs and made the focus on helping these people with their addictions, not prosecuting them. If the U.S. were to legalize JUST marijuana, stop the ongoing/never-ending nationwide billion dollar war on pot, and tax the h*ll out of it, wouldn’t that make up for some of the deficit?? We all need to get this idea that pot is as bad as cocaine and meth, when in my opinion, it is safer than alcohol and tobacco combined. I think we all need to take a puff on the “wacky-tobacy” to help us realize that we have a serious cash crop/ debt breaker/ money maker on our hands (and no, I have not considered a career in the hip-hop business :p )