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Maryland Lawmakers Begin Budget Debate


       ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is moving toward a vote on its version of the state budget.

     Lawmakers are expected to vote Thursday on four measures that are being used in tandem to balance the state's books for the next fiscal year and cut the state's long-running structural deficit in half.

     The Senate gave preliminary approval Wednesday night.

     One of the measures would increase the state's income tax. A separate budget reconciliation bill includes taxes for Online purchases and tobacco products other than cigarettes. Another would close loopholes in the state's maintenance of effort law for local school funding.

     The measures will then go to the House of Delegates. Once the House makes modifications, the two chambers will have to work out differences before the April 9 adjournment of the General Assembly.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.