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David Brinkley

Senate overwhelmingly approves O'Malley budget

Senate overwhelmingly approves O'Malley budget

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...