What They Said On Session …
ANNAPOLIS - With the closure of an exhausting three-week special session called by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley to address the state's projected $1.7 billion budget deficit, a session that resulted in sweeping tax reforms and the approval of a statewide referendum on the slots issue, the mood in Annapolis this week covered the full range of emotions from glee and celebration to angst and disgust.
The following is a sample of what was said and heard around the state capital this week:
'During the past three weeks, working with the General Assembly, we achieved more than anyone thought possible- and more than many governments achieve in four years. We passed a fair, long-term solution to the inherited $1.7 billion structural deficit and got Maryland back to the business of making progress.'
Gov. Martin O'Malley on the success of the session
'I tried to approach all of these issues rationally and logically with the best interest of my constituents at heart. As in anything else, you win some and you lose some, but if you count everything up, I think we did pretty well.'
Delegate Jim Mathias on the end result of the special session for his district
'Solving our state's structural deficit and this special session was one of Governor O'Malley's biggest challenges to date, and his leadership passed the test. The governor established the priorities for this session, and because of that, we were able to come together to solve the structural deficit in a fiscally responsible way for all Maryland families.'
Senate President Thomas V. 'Mike' Miller on the accomplishments of the special session
'We have a credit crunch, we have a housing crunch, we have gas over $3 a gallon, we have oil approaching $100 a barrel, and now taxpayers are going to have to worry about how they're going to feed the state government. This is not the time to be doing this. The state has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. This is a very regressive structure that passed.'
Senate Minority Leader David R. Brinkley on the sweeping tax reforms passed during the session
'I want to commend the House, the Senate and the O'Malley-Brown Administration for having the courage and the fortitude to come together and put forward a long-term, viable solution to Maryland's deficit that protects working families, invests in our quality of life and keeps Maryland's business competitive.'
House Speaker Michael Busch on the long-term effects of the measures approved during the session
'Ten years from now, or 20 years, I want my constituents to know I did everything I possibly could. We know that this is not the best product. This is not even good. It's a poor product. I still believe the Maryland constitution stands for something.'
Eastern Shore Senator E.J. Pipken voicing his disgust with the sweeping changes approved this week
'This is a proud day for Maryland's future. Thanks to Governor O'Malley's visionary and forward-looking leadership, and the hard work of so many of my former colleagues in the Maryland General Assembly, our state is again on the path of progress.'
Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown commending the governor and the legislature on the special session results
'In my nine years in office, I've never seen the floodgates for higher taxes open so quickly. This is the result of one-party monopoly government in Annapolis.'
Senator Alex Mooney on the partisan nature of the special session