[T]he Senate has a larger revenue package, which would leave a smaller revenue shortfall in the 2013 and future sessions. The Senate package also leaves a larger fund balance at year end. In the event that Maryland’s finances are affected by an economic downturn or federal budget cuts, we are less likely to need mid-year budget cuts under the Senate proposal.
The Senate scheduled the teacher retirement shift evenly over four years. The House version does it in just three years, and it’s “front-loaded:” passing ½ of the cost to counties in the first year.
Both versions increase the tax on cigars to be more comparable with the tax on cigarettes. The House version includes a significant tax increase on chewing tobacco, whereas the Senate version increases chewing tobacco taxes only slightly."