ANNAPOLIS, MD - The Maryland General Assembly has until April 2 to pass a budget, and some GOP members are putting in their two cents.
The Maryland House Republican Caucus released their own alternative budget. It would cut an additional $511 million from the Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed budget.
"I just gave my aide my credit card, and I joked there's no way I'd give the governor my credit card," said Del. Neil Parrott, (R) - Washington County.
The big issue House Republicans have with the budget are the proposed tax increases.
"People in Maryland are hurting," Parrott said. "We're paying too much in taxes. The governor wants to continue to increase spending at the state level and increase taxes on the citizens of Maryland. I just don't think that's right. We don't think that's right."
"Unfortunately, the only thing we've seen down here this session is that Governor O'Malley and the Democrats have what seems like an unquenchable thirst for new taxes, so you have to ask when is enough enough," said Del. Michael Hough, (R) - Washington and Frederick Counties.
The Republican's budget would freeze spending at 2012 levels, include no new tax increases, and keep the state funding teacher pension costs.
"We actually increased spending on schools and education, so they're saying, 'Oh, Republicans are going to cut everything,' but it's not true," said Del. Kathy Afzali, (R) - Frederick County.
Raquel Guillory, director of communications for Gov. Martin O'Malley, sent WHAG the following statement:
"We haven't seen their proposal but over the past six years, we've made $7.5 billion in cuts. The governor's proposal is a balanced and fair one that focuses on cuts, revenues and investments. Due to the tough choices we've made, Maryland has maintained a record of fiscal responsibility and it shows. We have a triple a bond rating certified by all three rating agencies, one of only eight states in the nation."
Guillory said citizens can read a powerpoint on the governor's budget by clicking here.
House Republicans plan to introduce their own budget as several amendments to the governor's almost $36 billion budget proposal
State senators will debate the budget on the floor Wednesday morning. It will then head to the House.
You can read more about the Maryland House Republican Caucus' alternative budget by clicking here.