ANNAPOLIS, MD - Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley unveiled his $37.3 billion fiscal year 2014 proposed state budget Wednesday afternoon.
O'Malley says the most important issue for Western Maryland is creating jobs. He believes renewable energy and investing in education are also important.
"The investments we make in the skills and talents through public education in Western Maryland, through the community colleges in Western Maryland, all of this goes to creating jobs," says O'Malley (D).
However, not all Western Maryland lawmakers like the governor's budget proposal.
"The governor's presentation of the budget is basically him patting himself on the back. A lot of things in there I'm certain are good, but we're going to have to dissect it at this point and time," says Sen. David Brinkley, (R) - Frederick County.
Brinkley will dissect the budget as a member of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.
"We're going to look at what's going on in Western Maryland," Brinkley says. "We're going to look at whatever job creation opportunities might be there because from my perspective at this point in time, that's the biggest thing we have to see."
47 percent of the proposed budget goes to education. Western Maryland is slated to get $310 million in state funding, with more than half of that going to Frederick County.
Frederick, Washington, and Allegany Counties would receive more school funding in the budget compared to last year. Garrett County would get 3.5 percent less money.
Spending increases by about $1.6 billion in this year's proposed budget. That doesn't sit well with many local legislators.
"This is my third session, and every session they've increased spending by billions of dollars each year. Now what's going to happen is during session they're going to introduce the tax increases because if you're increasing spending by billions, they're going to want to increase taxes to pay for it. I think it's unfortunate. I think hard-working Marylanders have already been hit hard enough by tax increases, and I think we have got to control spending in Maryland," said Del. Michael Hough, (R) - Washington and Frederick Counties.
O'Malley released his budget proposal significantly earlier this year. Budget negotiations stalled at the last moment in 2012 and caused a special session.
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