- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 22, 2012

ANNAPOLIS | Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a $260-million tax increase into law Tuesday, approving a pair of bills passed during last week’s special legislative session.

Mr. O'Malley, a Democrat, signed nearly 300 pieces of legislation, including the two bills that will shift a portion of teacher-pension costs to counties, raise income taxes on the top 14 percent of state earners and undo more than $400 million in cuts to education, health and local aid that were slated to go into effect after lawmakers failed to pass a revenue package during their regular session.

The governor was joined at a nearly three-hour bill-signing ceremony by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., Prince George’s Democrat, and House Speaker Michael E. Busch, Anne Arundel Democrat.

The three officials also signed bills raising the state’s required school-attendance age from 16 to 17, reducing the estate tax on family farms from 16 percent to 5 percent and banning the use of roxarsone in chicken feed. The additive has been linked to heightened arsenic levels in chicken.

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