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They Said What?

See How Well You Can Guess Who Said What About the Special Session

By Raechal Leone
Maryland Newsline
Friday, Nov. 9, 2007; photos added Nov. 13, 2007

Politicians are almost always saying something -- and there's often a reporter nearby to record it. The 2007 special legislative session is no different. Check out what state lawmakers have been saying about the governor's deficit-cutting plan.

Gov. Martin O'Malley/Photo courtesy Maryland State Archives
(Photo courtesy the Maryland State Archives)
1. What did Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley say about his plan to raise corporate taxes and use the additional money for higher education?

"I'm not opposed to funding higher education, but I am opposed to increasing taxes."
"We need our colleagues in the party of Lincoln to join with us in finding a consensus."
"The losers in the other party need to give it up and join us."
"Passage of this plan and continued investment in higher education is key to Maryland’s future. Education is critical to our people and to our economy."

Sen. Andy Harris/Photo courtesy Maryland State Archives
(Photo courtesy the Maryland State Archives)
2. What did Sen. Andy Harris, R-Baltimore County, say about e-mails and a letter that O’Malley administration officials sent to state contractors and others touting the governor’s plan to fill the state’s $1.7 billion deficit?

"Seriously, it’s not fair O’Malley is already talking up his plan. My staff is still proofreading my press release attacking it."
"The governor should be ashamed. Someone needs to tell him this is not Louisiana."
"At worst, what we're seeing is illegal. At best, it is highly unethical."
"As I understand it, the governor is allowed to distribute talking points, but he is not allowed to intimidate. My fear is that he has crossed the line."

Delegate Susan Aumann/Photo courtesy Maryland State Archives
(Photo courtesy the Maryland State Archives)
3. What was Delegate Susan Aumann, R-Baltimore County, talking about when she said: "We're robbing Peter to pay Paul. I can't swallow that."

A proposal to save the state $8.6 million by lowering the commission it grants lottery ticket agents from the current 5.5 percent to 5 percent.
A proposal to save the state $50.6 million by maintaining funds for public and private higher education and for community college grants at the current levels.
Projections from fiscal analysts that showed Maryland could cut its budget $761 million by, among other measures, eliminating a 2 percent cost-of-living raise for state employees.
Recommendations from fiscal analysts that the state take $50 from all residents with the first name Peter and give it to GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, who just won an informal Republican straw poll at the state fair.

Sen. Allan Kittleman/Photo courtesy Maryland State Archives
(Photo courtesy the Maryland State Archives)
4. What did Sen. Minority Whip Allan Kittleman, R-Howard, say about O’Malley’s warning that state and county programs would suffer severe budget cuts if lawmakers fail to reconcile the budget in a special session?

"He’s trying to scare people as much as Saw IV scared me last weekend. That is a lot."
"You've got to cut 5 percent -- $1.7 billion out of a $30 billion operating budget -- and I don't think that would be felt in any serious way. Any good manager should be able to handle that so that nobody feels much serious pain."
"The state does have a $1.5 billion projected structural deficit. There are options you consider because sometimes the other options are worse."
"The big new horror movie of October is Nightmare on State Circle. It stars Martin O'Malley trying to scare Marylanders into accepting new tax increases."

Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez/Photo courtesy Maryland State Archives
(Photo Courtesy Maryland State Archives)
5. What would Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, D-Montgomery, like to see happen to a special session bill that would raise taxes on alcohol sales?

"What I'm hoping is that because of the special session ...the bill will get a vote, not only in the committees, but also on the floor."
"I hope it dies. The earlier, the better."
"Obviously, since I introduced the bill, I would like to see it go all the way. It’s a smart move for Maryland."
The bill "should die, because the special session should be to take care of the budget. I don't think we need to hold a special session, but since we are, it should be on the matter at hand."

Sen. Ulysses Currie/Photo courtesy Maryland State Archives
(Photo courtesy the Maryland State Archives)
6. What did Sen. Ulysses Currie, D-Prince George's, say about the tax plan that the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee approved to help balance the budget? The plan expanded upon Gov. Martin O’Malley’s tax plan, which calls for increased sales taxes, income taxes and more.

"This is very complex and I'm not sure many of us fully understand this. This is a lot of material here."
"It's an excellent product. It's the first time we've ever stepped up and addressed the deficit."
"If I saw this 15 minutes before voting I might have a lot more to say."
"I may be home for Thanksgiving after all!"

State Health Secretary John Colmers/Photo courtesy Maryland State Archives
(Photo courtesy the Maryland State Archives)
7. What part of the governor’s budget-cutting plan was State Health Secretary John Colmers talking about when he said, "This is all about being grown up about our responsibilities, and largely that is that we have to live up to the society that we expect and hope to have, and be responsible about paying for it?"

Legalizing slot machines.
Increasing and expanding the sales tax to include services previously exempt.
Implementing a progressive income tax that requires people who earn more to pay more in taxes.
Expanding Medicaid access to 100,000 low-income Marylanders.

Sen. Paul Pinsky/Photo courtesy Maryland State Archives

(Photo courtesy the Maryland State Archives)

8. What did Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-Prince George’s, say about rearranging his fall plans to attend the General Assembly’s special session?

"I'll be teaching all my classes. But what could really create problems for me is my kids are adamant that I make it home" for Halloween.
"You're taking away my early Christmas season" if the session stretches into late November.
"This is madness. I should be at home watching Drew Carey in his debut season on 'The Price is Right.'"
"You almost have to have a death notice to get a reimbursement."

Copyright © 2007 University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism

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