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Eye on Annapolis

The Daily Record's Maryland state government blog

Md. lawmakers resolve to press Hogan on Trump budget


State lawmakers are calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to speak up against proposed cuts to federal programs to protect the Chesapeake Bay, calling Hogan’s lack of comment as a “conspiracy of silence.” (Maximilian Franz / The Daily Record)

Proposed cuts to federal programs to protect the Chesapeake Bay have state lawmakers screaming for Gov. Larry Hogan to speak out.

“It is conspiracy of silence,” said Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-Prince George’s, speaking of what he said was the absence of Hogan’s voice regarding bay funding. “It’s guilt by omission.”

Pinsky, the vice chair of the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, is sponsoring a joint resolution, introduced Thursday, that called on Hogan to oppose proposed cuts contained in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget. The federal spending plan calls for reducing $73 million in aid for the bay to zero.

“Without that we have a major problem,” Pinsky said.

The non-binding measure also calls on Maryland’s 10-member federal delegation to oppose the reductions. U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat, and Reps. Andy Harris and Dutch Ruppersberger, a Republican and Democrat respectively, sit on key budget committees.

The plan ultimately must be approved by Congress.

Hogan spokeswoman Amelia Chassé said in statement the governor “will always fight for the Chesapeake Bay and that he opposes hypothetical cuts at the federal level” and said Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller should “focus on doing their jobs here in Annapolis.”

“We are happy to see that the presiding officers have seen the light on Bay restoration funding, given their support for the past administration raiding over $1 billion from restoration efforts,” Chassé said in her statement. “President Miller and Speaker Busch promised that their entire focus this session would be on Washington politics; at least that’s one promise they’ve delivered on.”

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