The Maryland House approved bills Saturday that would increase a tax break for low-income workers and expand the program to young people who are not now eligible.

The two measures bolstering the earned income tax credit, both of which passed overwhelmingly, are part of the House's answer to Gov. Larry Hogan's tax cut proposals. While the Democratic-led General Assembly has bought into Hogan's general aim of cutting taxes, most of his specific plans have failed to gain traction.

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Hogan proposed an acceleration of a previously adopted increase in the tax credit, but both the House and a Senate committee have decided to significant increase the credit's value permanently. Both versions would allow taxpayers under 25 to benefit for the first time, though the House sets a minimum age of 21 and the Senate has no age requirement.

Unlike the Senate, the House is not moving to cut the state's income tax for top earners – a recommendation of a commission headed by former Lockheed Martin chief executive Norman R. Augustine as a way to improve the state's business climate.

House leaders have instead adopted other commission recommendations with less of an impact on state revenues.

—Michael Dresser

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