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Miller says budget votes will be more difficult to find in House

The presiding officer of the Maryland Senate said his chamber will easily pass the budget revenue package that Gov. Martin O’Malley plans to introduce on the first day of a special session of the General Assembly.

It’s the House of Delegates that will be a problem, said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Calvert and Prince George’s.

Miller said the 47-memeber Senate would quickly pass what is likely to be two bills — one that raises income taxes and another that shifts the cost of teacher pensions from the state to local jurisdictions. Wrangling up enough votes among the 141 members of the House will be more difficult, Miller said.

“The house is going to need an extra day to pass the bill,” he said.

But Miller is not blaming House Speaker Michael E. Busch, D-Anne Arundel.

“He has a much tougher job than I do. He’s dealing with a younger group of people, he’s dealing with a far more demanding group of people, he has the influence of the Tea Party in his [Republican] caucus, he has people that aren’t experienced and haven’t made the tough votes that members of the Senate have,” Miller said. “He’s got a tougher job getting votes together, and I salute him for his efforts.”

Miller also tried to put aside any notion that there was conflict between himself and the speaker.

“People want to point out acrimony between myself and the speaker,” Miller said. “That is not true.”

Miller said the two don’t always agree, but still respect each others’ opinion.