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MD LAWMAKERS POINT FINGERS OVER FAILED SESSION

Communications professor Trevor Parry-Giles weighs in on proposed changes to state budget negotiations.
By Ben Giles, the Washington Examiner

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. wants to change the way lawmakers handle budget negotiations to avoid another midnight meltdown like the one the General Assembly experienced in April.

But some lawmakers say the current legislative rules have worked just fine for two decades and would have this year without Miller's push to bring casino gambling to his home county of Prince George's.
Gov. Martin O'Malley even Tweeted shortly after session that it was the "silly bomb of gambling" that exploded, causing the General Assembly's historic collapse.

Miller suggests suspending all debate on the Senate floor of any bills except those related to the budget, but only if House and Senate budget generals have failed to reach a compromise with seven days left of the 90-day session.
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Trevor Parry-Giles, a professor of political communication at the University of Maryland, said the rule changes proposed by Miller won't prevent future session meltdowns as long as no atmosphere for compromise exists.

"It's like all the other times when things don't go the way that somebody wants them to go," he said. "The response isn't to find out a way to make it work better, it's to find a stopgap measure and change the way you do things procedurally."

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Date of Publication: 
5/19/12