By Justin Snow for MarylandReporter.com
With still no word on a special session two weeks after the General Assembly adjourned having failed to pass a revenue bill to fund the full state budget, higher education officials and students alike have begun to worry.
On Friday, April 20, dozens of students at the University of Maryland urged lawmakers to return to Annapolis and rallied against tuition hikes that would likely result if the “doomsday budget” is implemented.
Friday’s rally followed a unanimous vote by the Student Government Association calling on Gov. Martin O’Malley to order a special session. O’Malley has delayed ordering lawmakers back to Annapolis until a consensus can be met on the issues that derailed the legislation two weeks ago.
Legislators have until June 1 to reconvene and pass the remainder of the budget package in order to avoid $50 million in cuts to the university system budget that could result in as much as a 13% increase to in-state tuition. Such a hike would be the largest since the Ehrlich administration, which saw tuition increase by about $2,000 over four years.
Students who attend the 12 institutions overseen by the University System of Maryland have been plunged into uncertainty in the wake of the budget inaction. Although in-state students have faced cost increases over the years, they have been relatively modest.