House passes final budget and tax hikes, with some Democrats opposed

By Len Lazarick

Del. Michael Smigiel speaks against budget.

Del. Michael Smigiel speaks against budget.

The action on the budget and tax hikes was all over but the shouting by Republicans as the House of Delegates approved a final spending plan, shifting half of pension costs to the counties, and raising state income taxes on people making over $100,000 per year.

Twenty-two different Republican delegates rose during the three-hour debate to decry the budget action.

“When we left session [April 9], the budget was balanced,” said House Minority Whip Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, echoing a common theme. “I say enough is enough.”

(Almost all Republicans voted against the budget that passed in April.)

But Democratic leaders said the pension shifts, fund swaps and tax increases were needed to protect the state’s investments in K-12 education, universities, health care and public safety.

The tax hikes amounted to $6.25 a week ($325 per year) for a married couple making $250,000, said House Majority Leader Kumar Barve. He said he and his wife would be paying an additional $4.88 per week and “I am willing to pay that price” to maintain state programs.

10 Democrats vote against budget, 18 against tax hikes

In the end, the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act passed 86-51, with 10 Democrats joining 41 Republicans in opposing the plan that changes funding formulas and allocation of revenues. The 10 Democrats included those from more conservative swing districts and Montgomery County liberals who objected to the pension shift that would hurt their county.

The 10 Democrats were: Tiffany Alston, Prince George’s; Charles Barkley, Jim Gilchrist, Ariana Kelly, Ben Kramer, Heather Mizeur and Kirill Reznik, all of Montgomery County; Sonny Minnick and Mike Weir, Baltimore County; and Johnny Wood, St. Mary’s.

Only one Republican supported the budget measure, Del. Wendell Beitzel, Garrett, who serves on the Appropriations Committee.

The debate was far shorter and the vote even closer on the State and Local Revenue and Financing Act, which passed 77-60, just six more votes than needed for it for a constitutional majority.

UPDATED CORRECTION: Eighteen Democrats joined all 42 Republicans present to vote against $300 million in tax hikes.  The 18 Democrats were: Tiffany Alston, Prince George’s; Charles Barkley, Jim Gilchrist, Ana Sol Gutierrez, Ariana Kelly, Ben Kramer, Heather Mizeur, Kirill Reznik, all of Montgomery County; Pam Beidle and Ted Sophocleus, Anne Arundel; Eric Bromwell, Steve DeBoy, Sonny Minnick, Dan Morhaim, Johnny Olszewski, and Mike Weir, Baltimore County; John Bohanan and Johnny Wood, St. Mary’s; Mary-Dulany James, Harford; David Rudolph, Cecil; and Kevin Kelly, Allegany.

Complete roll call votes

UPDATE: The complete roll calls on the two bills in the Senate and House are now posted on the General Assembly website. The main page for the two bills has the amendments and the roll calls on those as well.

Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act, SB1301, Senate roll call, House roll call

State and Local Revenue and Financing Act, SB130s, Senate roll call, House roll call

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.


  1. Whcampbell

    This budget is bad public policy and will hurt MD in the future.  The short term payoff will only be for 1 year and “Los Tres Amigos” (O’Malley, Miller and Busch will have to raises taxes and fees again next year.  I am shocked that any Senator or Delegate from the “organ donor ” counties (Montgomery, Baltimore, Ann Arundel, or Howard) would vote for this tax increase.  Who are they serving?  Senator Robey, and Delegates Turner, Pendergrass and Guzzone are certainly not looking out for me, my family, or my business.  I am going to work diligently to unseat each one of these incumbents.  Democrats like to talk about “fairness”.  How is it fair that 16% of us pay 100% of the increase?  A pox on their houses!

  2. Kellysucks

    It even has my potential Delegate Kevin Kelly voting for that stupid piece of crap. Guess what come election day 2014 he won’t have the opportunity to represent me. So Kevin did you get anything in return you sell out piece of garbage

  3. KatieSilverSpring

    Progressives need to be routed out.  Montgomery County is sinking, and taking the state with it.  But the MD and MC GOPs are too weak or internally divided to pull this off.  I almost wish we had the old Dems in MontCo now instead of the Raskin-Hucker-Mizeur-Hixson joke of a team we are stuck with, or got stuck with.

    IF Marylanders do NOT remember this come 2014, we are individually finished.  This tax hike is going to seriously damage my own budget.  Speak out every day to everyone.

    The despot’s heel is on thy shore, Maryland!His torch is at thy temple door, Maryland!… be the battle queen of yore, Maryland! My Maryland!

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