No scholarships, no bond bills.
"We're at a point where we are rubbing pennies together," said Klausmeier told us. "I did it because I felt it was the right thing to do." Klausmeier amended the Capital Budget (SB 142) to say that Gov. Martin O'Malley should "not include funds for legislative initiatives" in FY2012 and FY2013.
That money, instead, should go to public school construction funds. This year O'Malley set aside $15 million for lawmakers' pet projects.
Klausmeier said the amendment was not at all connected to a decision by the House Appropriations Committee to strip legislative scholarships from the FY2011 budget, a popular program among Senators. (The program costs $11.5 million. It works like this: the 141 delegates split $5 million for scholarships. The Senate's 47 members split $6.5 million.)
But several other lawmakers smelled retribution. "This may have been an effort to get the House's attention," said Del. Frank Turner. "She probably put in a friendly amendment -- to remind us of the importance of the scholarships to the Senate."