Thursday, January 21, 2010

How the Massachusetts Senate Election Hurts Maryland Counties

Let's play connect the dots, folks. Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in Tuesday's U.S. Senate special election in Massachusetts. That means President Obama's health care plan is unlikely to pass in its current form. But as the Post's Aaron Davis points out, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley was relying on $389 million contained in the House's health care bill to balance his budget. Meanwhile, Senate President Mike "Big Daddy" Miller has been complaining that O'Malley's budget did not cut enough aid to the counties. While the General Assembly cannot add money to the Governor's budget under state law, they can certainly cut further.

So now that the $389 million from health care reform may be gone, how do you think Big Daddy and the legislature will fill the hole? Could the words "state aid" be relevant here? It looks like the county budget deliberations - ALL of them - are about to get a lot more interesting!