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Md. Senate leader says state budget could be worse

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s senate president wants lawmakers to “put on a happy face” as they slog through another tough budget year.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller teed up lawmakers Wednesday for Gov. Martin O’Malley’s state of the state speech, saying that Maryland is in much better economic shape than states like Arizona, Illinois and New York.

O’Malley is scheduled to give his annual assessment of the state in a speech to lawmakers Thursday at noon. O’Malley’s budget proposal closes a $1.3 billion gap, largely with spending cuts.