Maryland lawmakers debate tax and fee package. Some Democrats worry it may cost party the US Senate

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A push for a revenue package that includes hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes and fees in the Maryland General Assembly is raising concerns among some leading Democrats.

FILE - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan addresses supporters at the Maryland statehouse, Jan. 10, 2023, in Annapolis, Md. A push in Maryland's legislature for hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes and fees has some Democrats concerned that the package may bolster Republican former Gov. Larry Hogans campaign for U.S. Senate and cost the party its already-narrow majority.

“It’s deja vu all over again — the same crushing tax hikes that convinced me to run for Governor in the first place are rearing their ugly head again,” Hogan wrote last month on X, formerly known as Twitter. Del. Ben Barnes, a Democrat who chairs the Maryland House Appropriations Committee, said the state’s transportation funding problems can’t wait a year, and he questions why the legislature with strong Democratic majorities in both chambers should wait.

“It is something that is a factor in the decision-making process for the next year,” Ferguson said."The makeup of the U.S. Senate will matter for the long-term investment future for Maryland.” Ferguson said the budget plan approved in the Senate invests in the state's priorities without tax increases, with ample reserves still in the rainy day fund to avoid a hurried approach to revenues. He also noted that the bridge collapse has only underscored the need to keep a Democratic majority in the Senate.


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