Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said Tuesday morning that the Senate, House and governor are have different ideas about how to close the state's $1 billion projected budget shortfall, and he's planning to send several options to the floor including a "doomsday" plan made up entirely by cuts.
Miller said he's also considering a budget plan that would involve "different revenues" than those Gov. Martin O'Malley suggested in his spending plan, but did not specify what any would be.
The Senate president added that his chamber is getting considerable "push back" from critics of O'Malley's proposal to cap income tax deductions.
"We are looking at broader cuts than what the governor proposed," Miller said. "We are looking at a different set of revenues than what the governor proposed."
This year the Senate handles the budget first, and then sends it to the House of Delegates.
One option, he said, would be to send a budget package to the House "with nothing but cuts."
"I hope that is not the case," Miller said.
Miller said that budget meetings with the House have been delayed because the chamber has been so consumed with the same-sex marriage debate.
Also, part of the reason the budget will be a "challenge," Miller said, is because each chamber is coalescing around different ideas.
"Unlike in yesteryear democracy has come to the state of Maryland," Miller said. "It is not one person saying: 'This is what is going to happen.' And that is what happens."
"So we’ve evolved so everyone has his own independent thinking and independent voice," Miller said.