MARYLAND

O'Malley releases $39B budget

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley is proposing to help fill a budget shortfall in Maryland by making a smaller payment toward long-term state pension reform.

O'Malley said Wednesday the $172 million saved helps close a $584 million budget shortfall.

The governor's budget also includes a 3 percent increase in college tuition. The budget also has about $4 million to begin phasing in universal pre-kindergarten by 2018. The budget plan also contains $289 million for school construction.

About $4 million also has been included in the budget to hire 100 correctional officers.

The state's total budget is about $39 billion.

Maryland lawmakers will spend much of the legislative session working on the governor's budget proposal.

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