Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Waiting In Annapolis


(Annapolis) The trio of state leaders who have the power to convene a special session met for breakfast this morning (little more than an hour) with little to show.
There were smiles and few comments except for Speaker Michael Busch who said he had to meet with the leadership of the House to craft a budget. The subject of slots was broached to the speaker but he said, “that was not a part of the discussion.” It’s been two weeks since the session has adjourned and the charges and counter have been heard around the state. This is all about saving face. The governor wants to show leadership; the Speaker wants show he can control a deeply divided body; and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller wants to prove the slots issue is a winning issue. Can these three issues be resolved or are they incompatible?
As President Miller went to his office he was surrounded press who wanted to know about a potential sales tax? “Shh!!! Miller has not been portrayed kindly in this “who did what” post session coverage. As the longest serving state leader he is often the go to guy but today he was saying little.  

The Clock is Ticking

videoThe pain of the budget has yet to be felt, but county leaders are aware time is not on their side. There were conflicting times on when to bring back the legislature. Speaker Busch was suggesting the special session convene “at the end the May.” Meanwhile. President Miller suggest “mid-May” may be a better time. The time of the session is crucial to getting the state on track before the new fiscal year. T. Eloise Foster, the Budget Secretary, has already talked to Governor about delaying the signing to several bills passed by the legislature. At the county level the pressure to cut in the wake of any cuts is as thick as fog. Some like Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker is waiting, he's preparing his on doomsday scenario.  

Absent From the Conversation

The governor left his talking points to his communication officer, Rich Abbruzzese. "I thought it was a good meeting but as to details you'll have to get with the presiding officers." Where is the urgency? Does anyone know what's a stake? I have said from the beginning the governor wants communities to "feel the pain." I don't know if that bring them back but it will not stop those from chiming in on the good, bad and ugly of a Special Session in the State of Maryland.  

"What's for Breakfast" 

 A question for some of us in "the pit" was what was on the breakfast menu. Haven't gotten word yet. Some suggested if this was a truly Maryland breakfast it would likely include eggs, toast and scrapple (for those of you who don't know it's a bacon substitute - various parts of pork product squished together and fried), sorry grits while a southern delicacy is more southern. It was also suggested they dined on goat cheese omelets -please-not in these austere times. The actual menu was assorted fruits muffins and pastries. Huevos rancheros (eggs, beans, spicy sausage), and assorted fruit juices with coffee.  

Last Minute Add

When I saw the possibility of two session expressed in a twitter post I was like what? Well guess what sometimes fiction is fact. The governor during a press gaggle in Baltimore suggested the need for two sessions one on the budget and another on the slots.
"Well lordy be the funks on me."..Parliament-Funkadelic.

You can listen hear.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gf8jksphnirlah3/Press%20Gaggle%20April%2024%2C%202012.m4a

C3

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