The General Assembly is moving forward with legislation that will require the state to spend money on a new hospital in Prince George's County, over the objections of the governor, who was trying to work out his own deal on the hospital.
The Senate voted 36-9 on Wednesday to approve a bill from Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller that would require the state to spend millions of dollars on the hospital over the next several years. Prince George's County and the University of Maryland Medical System also will spend a certain amount on the hospital.
The bill had been put on hold by Miller, who said Gov. Larry Hogan was working on his own agreement for the hospital between the state, the county and the university medical system.
Republicans on Wednesday asked for another delay -- until Friday -- to give the governor more time to get the deal done, but they were rebuffed.
After the vote, Miller said Hogan would not have been able to strike a deal. Hogan was working toward a memorandum of understanding among the parties, which lawyers said would not be enforceable, Miller said.
Miller said the MOU should have been done last week, and the Senate couldn't wait forever.
"They still don't have it done, and there's not a chance of getting it done any time soon," Miller said. "So we'll move forward."
Miller said he appreciated Hogan's efforts on the issue.
"I thank the governor for trying to reach out to us," Miller said. "I worked with him on this."
Hogan, however, took to social media to blast Miller for pushing the bill forward.
"As a result of his impatience and incredible shortsightedness, Senate President Miller may have single-handedly wrecked the work that has gone into a carefully crafted agreement ... to ensure that people of Prince George's County would have access to high quality healthcare," the governor posted on his Facebook page Wednesday.
Hogan called Miller's bill "a hastily-crafted, one-size-fits-all bill" that requires more state spending but doesn't hold the other partners in the deal accountable for the success of the hospital.
"It's a waste of time, it's pure politics and another step in the wrong direction," Hogan wrote.
Asked about the Facebook post, Miller said he didn't know if the governor himself was responsible for it because he is spending time out of state with a relative in hospice care.
"We all know what it is," Miller said. "It's these right-wing operatives he's hired that want to attack, attack, attack."
Miller maintained that passing the bill is the best way to ensure the hospital project moves forward.
The new facility, known as the Prince George's Regional Medical Center in Largo, would replace the aging, financially struggling Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly. The new $650 million, 231-bed hospital would become part of the University of Maryland Medical System.
The bill now goes to the House of Delegates for consideration.