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Miller to senators: Don’t make plans until the end of April

With the state budget still unresolved, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, D-Calvert and Prince George’s, gave his chamber a warning Tuesday morning.

“Right now, both the Senate and House are very far apart,” Miller said just before adjournment. “Keep your calendars clear for the 10 days following April 9.”

The state constitution allows the General Assembly session to be prolonged by 10 days if a budget has not been agreed upon. The session is supposed to end April 9 at midnight after 90 legislative days.

A conference committee of Senate and House of Delegates members began to meet this week to bridge gaps between the Senate and House versions of the budget.

Last week, House Speaker Michael E. Busch, D-Anne Arundel, said he thought the budget could be completed by Thursday. Meanwhile, Gov. Martin O’Malley has said he hopes there will be time at the end of the session to take a look at transportation funding options.

Miller said that couldn’t happen until a budget plan was decided upon.

The Senate leader’s warning also casts doubt on the body getting around to considering other controversial measures, including an offshore wind bill and flush tax legislation. Both bills are backed by the administration.

“I don’t think the budget’s going to get wrapped any time in the next couple days,” Miller said. “We’ll see.”