2014 MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION - First Month Analysis
are about five weeks into the current General Assembly session
in Maryland. There have been nearly a thousand pieces of legislation
proposed in the State Senate. In the House of Delegates, close
to 1400 pieces of legislation have been proposed. There are
dozens of proposals to create a state debt. There are unnecessary
bills. A Republican Delegate in Frederick County has proposed
legislation that would require the State to place signs on highways
throughout Maryland, telling people to move out of the fast
lane, along with requirements that would tie up traffic courts
and draw police away from law and even traffic enforcement that
is more important.
General Assembly is making a third attempt to overturn a decision
by the Maryland Court of Appeals (Maryland's highest court),
that designated pit bulls as an inherently dangerous breed,
without defining what a pit bull is. The court decision places
liability not just on dog owners, but also on landlords. The
problem with the legislative attempts is they are including
extra provisions that make passage unlikely, with the consequence
being that many of these dog owners will be forced to choose
between getting rid of their dog, or not having a home. Simple
legislation could fix the immediate problem, and other issues
related to this could be resolved at later time.
a second year in a row, there are attempts to enact rent control
in Maryland, proposals that would significantly de-value property
in Maryland, hamper one of the most important driving forces
in the economy and bring down our neighborhoods. Senate Bill
904 would also add a new government Commission, new staff and
increase the financial burden on property owners, all to accomplish
something that isn't needed in Maryland.
are multiple bills to raise the minimum wage. The Governor's
proposal is the most modest and appears to have the most traction,
but passage may depend on the ability of proponents to demonstrate
that the impact on small business will not be too severe. While
proponents site the salaries of CEOs of large corporations,
in relation to employees that make the current minimum wage,
they are generally quiet about the impact that might be felt
by locally-owned businesses.
are multiple, token proposals to cut different taxes, which
are unlikely to pass, but noticeably absent are the corresponding
cuts to the budget that would make these tax cuts possible.
In order to avoid budget problems, each cut must accompanied
by a corresponding cut in expenditures. Symbolism may be nice,
but it does nothing to help the people of Maryland.