Gov. Martin O'Malley's budget for next year sailed through the Senate on Wednesday after an unusually brief debate, seen by some as a sign of the state's improved fiscal condition.
Senators voted 42-5 to pass the $36.8 billion budget and send it to a conference committee with the House. All 35 Democrats and seven Republicans voted in favor of the budget, which comes close to eliminating what was once a nearly $2 billion long-term revenue shortfall.
"I can't remember any time the budget was adopted by a larger margin." said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller.
Unlike the current budget, which runs through June 30, next year's is not accompanied by tax...