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Assembly still hasn't passed a budget

Session would be extended if no deal is reached

April 07, 2012|By Michael Dresser and Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun

The new plan replaces a more detailed Senate bill that the House found objectionable. If state voters approve the measure, many details would have to be worked out during next year's legislative session.

Hundreds of other bills were passed during the marathon Saturday session. Notably, the Assembly adopted a ban on arsenic additives in chicken feed; if O'Malley signs the bill into law, Maryland will become the first state in the nation to take such a step to keep the toxic chemical out of food and the environment.

The Senate also passed its version of O'Malley's proposal to double the $2.50-a-month "flush tax" that goes toward sewer-system upgrades needed to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. The Senate passed the bill 28-18, but not before exempting from the increase some Garrett County residents who live west of the Eastern Continental Divide.

Senators accepted the argument of Sen. George Edwards, a Garrett Republican, that the waste produced by those residents doesn't flow into the bay but toward the Gulf of Mexico.

The bill now goes back to the House to see whether the chambers can agree on the changes made in the Senate.

Baltimore Sun reporter Timothy B. Wheeler contributed to this article.





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