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Maryland lawmakers convene to open session

ANNAPOLIS — Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller says a proposal to raise about $200 million by raising taxes on alcohol in Maryland is “insanity personified.”

Miller, D-Calvert, and House Speaker Michael Busch, D-Anne Arundel, spoke on the Marc Steiner radio program on WEAA-FM Tuesday before the opening of the Maryland General Assembly’s 90-day session.

Miller says he could support a moderate increase on taxes on beer and wine, given the state’s $1.6 billion budget shortfall. But he says a proposal floating around Annapolis to raise $200 million goes too far.

Miller says he hasn’t seen Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget proposal, but the Senate president says cuts will have to be made to Medicaid, education and the environment.