Gov. Hogan highlights virus aid, tax cuts, in budget plan

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan highlighted his $1 billion virus relief proposal and tax cuts Tuesday in his annual budget proposal for the next fiscal year.

Hogan outlined only highlights of his budget plan to the General Assembly during a news conference. The administration isn't releasing its entire budget proposal until Wednesday.

The Republican governor’s top priority this session is his pandemic relief proposal. It includes payments of up to $450 for individuals and $750 for families that have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit. Hogan also is proposing ending local and state income taxes on unemployment benefits. The plan includes allowing Maryland restaurants and small businesses to keep up to $12,000 of sales tax over the next four months.

“After a long and difficult year of sacrifice and struggle, our top economic priority is making sure that Marylanders can keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets," Hogan said at a news conference.

Hogan is again proposing tax cuts for retirees. Hogan made a similar proposal last year that stalled.

The total amount of the governor's budget plan is about $49.4 billion.

The General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, will work on the budget during its legislative session, which began last week.

“We look forward to reviewing the details, but the Governor’s high level overview sounds promising," said Senate President Bill Ferguson, a Baltimore Democrat. “We will continue our unified, bipartisan focus on getting targeted resources to the most vulnerable Marylanders for this once in 100 year pandemic.”