Annapolis – House & Senate Republicans on the Spending Affordability Committee yesterday voted for a reduction in Maryland’s debt of $375 million and to require Governor Martin O’Malley to submit a budget of 0% growth.
Democrats on the Spending Affordability Committee rejected both Republican proposals and voted to accelerate state spending by 4% and increase the state debt ceiling by $75 million.
“Today, we learned from legislative staff that Maryland faces a shortfall of $600 million,” said Senate Minority Leader David Brinkley. “With this daunting challenge of balancing Maryland’s budget, we need to exert fiscal discipline and stop increasing state spending and debt.”
“In the next few years Maryland will be facing some significant challenges covering payments on the debt accrued by the O’Malley-Brown Administration,” said House Minority Leader Nicholaus Kipke. “We have the responsibility to our taxpayers to slow this bus down and find a way to pay for our existing debt before we take on any more.”
“Governor O’Malley received a huge Christmas gift today by the sanctioning of higher spending and increased debt under the guise of ‘spending affordability,’” said Senate Minority Whip Joe Getty. “By doing so, we reduced the options for a future governor to solve Maryland’s structural deficit burden because we’ve hamstrung future budgets with higher baseline spending and significant debt service.”
“After nearly 80 increases in taxes, tolls, and fees over the last seven years it is irresponsible to lay the foundations for yet more tax increases,” said Delegate Addie Eckardt. “Voting to expand our debt is basically voting to increase the tax burden faced by Maryland families; maybe not today, but certainly in the not-so-distant future.”
“Maryland’s families can ill-afford yet another tax increase,” said Kipke. “Supporting these increases is a disservice to Maryland’s families, many of whom can’t increase their personal spending due to additional taxes and fees. If they can’t increase their spending, the state shouldn’t either.”