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Politics

Baltimore senator "embarrassed" by budget

The youngest member of Maryland's state senate sent email to constituents Tuesday saying that he was "embarrassed" by the so-called "Doomsday" budget that passed in the General Assembly with his support.

Sen. Bill Ferguson, a Baltimore Democrat, said that he cast his green vote on "what we believed" was a compromise spending plan that included a "Doomsday" clause. The budget that passed closes a roughly $1 billion revenue shortfall mostly with cuts, firing hundreds of state workers and making deep cuts in education and other Democratic priorities.

"We were told it would never come about," Ferguson wrote. "... the votes for the revenue package were counted, the Senate and House had agreed, the bills were prepared, we just needed to vote," Ferguson wrote.

But by midnight -- when the 90 day session ended -- the vote never happened.

"We should have asked more questions," Ferguson wrote. "We should have demanded a more transparent process. And we should have passed a budget that would make Marylanders proud."

Ferguson added: "You deserve better from your State representatives. We were elected by you to serve the interests of you, your family, and your neighbors. We were elected to make tough, and sometimes unpopular decisions to do what's right for Maryland's residents."

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"We didn't. We have only ourselves to blame. And I'm embarrassed."


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