The future of the state's Office of Sports Promotion will be determined by a joint committee of House and Senate representatives.
That move was made necessary yesterday, when the full Senate passed recommendations from its Budget and Taxation Committee to cut $250,000 from the program's budget.
Because the Senate legislation is different from that passed by the House, the legislation must go to the conference committee for a compromise agreement.
The House previously voted to cut only $125,000 from State Games and left the OSP's remaining request for $664,000 intact. OSP supporters say the Senate cut would leave the office with minimal operating capital and turn it into a caretaker of grants, rather than a pursuer of sports events for the state.
The OSP is a program of the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development, and is credited with bringing more than $16 million into the state economy during its three years of existence.
The joint committee is expected to meet either this weekend or early next week.
Sitting on the conference committee will be House delegates Charles J. Ryan of Prince George's County, Howard P. Rawlings of Baltimore City and George Edwards of Allegany/Garrett counties. From the Senate: Lawrence Levitan of Montgomery County, Barbara Hoffman of Baltimore City and John Cade of Anne Arundel County.