Carroll County's state representatives agreed that Carroll County will be worse off if legislators return to Annapolis for a special budget session.
The Associated Press reported reported Wednesday that Gov. Martin O'Malley and state legislators have agreed to reconvene the General Assembly on May 14 to address the budget cuts.
In early April, the Maryland Legislature passed a "" that would require $512 million in cuts across the state.
But Carroll County's delegates and senators say the county is better off with the budget as it was passed in April. In a special joint meeting with commissioners and state representatives, the overwhelming sentiment was that Carroll County will be worse off if legislators return for a special session.
"The challenge we're faced with is everyone refers to the current budget as a doomsday budget, but frankly I don't see it as a doomsday budget," Sen. David Brinkley, R-District 4, said. "I challenge that ... The budget still goes up by $700 million and I think citizens expect us to live in our means as they are being forced to do."
Del. Susan Krebs, R-District 9b, agreed, adding that the "doomsday budget" is a two percent increase over last year's budget.
"It's a two percent increase over last year and only a one percent decrease from what they wanted," Krebs said. "But they put all the cuts to education and things that will get people riled up."
"It's a mess," Krebs said, "it really is."
Sen. Joe Getty, R-District 5, pointed out that in the current budget there is no tax increase and teacher pensions are not passed to the county.
There are counties that will take a financial blow if the budget stands as is, Getty said. He said those are the counties that want a special session. Baltimore City stands to lose $31 million without passage of those two bills [Budget Reconciliation Act of 2012 and State and Local Revenue and Financing Act of 2012] and Prince George's County would lose $33 million.
Krebs said that with the current budget, the county as a whole will benefit, but the will take a hit because the current budget targets those dollars for reductions.
But Commissioner Doug Howard said that he would prefer to keep the current budget and deal with funding schools at the county level than to have the special session and have to absorb teacher pensions.
"We would have the ability to make education whole with the offset of the pension," Howard said. "We'd be better leaving the whole thing alone and letting this board of commissioners shuffle things so we meet those obligations accordingly."