Glendening released the eighth and final spending plan of his administration, a $22.2 billion proposal that would exceed this year's spending by 2.7 percent.
Some areas would get more money. Public schools would receive an additional $161 million, a 6.5 percent increase. Medicaid would get an extra $367 million to cover a deficit this year and pay for next year's benefits. Environmental programs, higher education and drug treatment would also get more.
But most state agencies would be asked to continue their jobs with only small increases for inflation.
While praising parts of the plan for the fiscal year that will begin July 1 and agreeing with the governor's general priorities, General Assembly leaders said they will look carefully for cuts that would allow the tax break to take effect as planned.
Many legislators also want to find the large amounts of money needed to begin fulfilling recommendations from a blue-ribbon school financing panel known as the Thornton Commission, money Glendening did not include in his proposal.
Glendening said Maryland is in better financial shape than most states are and that he wants to use several one-time cash infusions to maintain past commitments in education and the environment.
He proposes spending $800 million of $1.3 billion in reserves, which he said would preserve enough to maintain Maryland's coveted AAA bond rating. To build the reserve fund before tapping it, the governor wants to borrow $210 million to pay for construction projects approved in previous years, freeing the cash.
The tax-cut delay would provide an additional $175 million in one-time funds.
"There is not torrential downfall, but it is raining," the governor said. "We will draw on our reserves to get us through the downturn."
The Glendening budget proposal:
Some leading Republicans accused Glendening of relying on stopgap measures and continuing a pattern of overspending and delaying difficult decisions for another year, when a new governor takes office.
"We have had unprecedented, out-of-control state spending, and now it's time to pay the piper," said Sen. J. Lowell Stoltzfus, an Eastern Shore Republican who is the Senate minority leader. "We're going to have bad times in our future, but they want to spend all of the rainy day reserves now."