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Maryland House approves state budget, setting up conference with Senate

Maryland State House shrouded in snow, March 22, 2018.
Maryland State House shrouded in snow, March 22, 2018. (The Baltimore Sun / Michael Dresser)

The Maryland House of Delegates passed its version of Gov. Larry Hogan’s $44.4 billion state operating budget Thursday, setting up a conference with the Senate next week to hash out differences between the spending plans.

Delegates voted 125-12 for a budget that won praise from members of both parties.

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“I think we have an excellent budget before us today,” said Minority Leader Nic Kipke, an Anne Arundel County Republican. All of the “no” votes were cast by his fellow Republicans.

A companion measure revealed more partisan divisions as the House voted 94-42 to set aside $200 million in expected revenue gains from federal tax code changes for future education spending.

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The Senate, where partisan divisions are less pronounced, passed its budget bills unanimously last week. The differences between the two chambers’ spending plans are relatively minor, and next week’s budget conference is not expected to be unusually contentious.

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