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SCHOOL CLOSINGS

Gov. O'Malley announces special session to begin May 14

Gov.Martin O'Malleyannounced Friday that he plans to convene a special session of the General Assembly, beginning May 14, to complete work on the budget that was left unfinished before the legislature's regular 90-day session ended last month.

The General Assembly adjourned April 9 without passing legislation that would have raised revenues needed to balance the budget. Agreements on a plan to shift teacher pension costs to the counties, phased in over four years, and to raise income taxes on six-figure earners were agreed to by Senate and House leaders but not voted on by the full chambers.

The revenue packages not passing triggered the so-called "doomsday" budget, which would cut $500 million to Democratic priority funding areas, such as education and health care. If the doomsday budget were to take effect, the Howard County Public School System is slated to lose $8.3 million in the state aid and Howard Community College would lose $1.4 million.

"There is too much at stake not to move forward," O'Malley said in a statement. "I'm confident that we can come together with the Senate President and House Speaker to complete this most important work for the people of our State."

Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Mike Busch are scheduled to hold a news conference next week to discuss the special session, according to a news release from O'Malley's office, which did not say how long the special session is expected to last.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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