- Associated Press - Monday, March 31, 2014

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Lawmakers tasked with reconciling the House and Senate budgets have approved a first round of minor compromises. They are saving the toughest decisions for later this week.

Representatives of both chambers gave way Monday afternoon in budget areas where the other side objected to cuts.

For instance, the committee decided to keep intact grants offered by the Maryland Tourism Development Board and funds for the child care subsidy program.

They agreed to eliminate vacant public safety positions and to cut foster care payments.

But the highest-profile budget issue is a provision to seize property from certain film production companies if they suddenly stop filming in Maryland, as makers of “House of Cards” have threatened to do. Lawmakers held off the debate Monday.

The group will meet again Tuesday afternoon.

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