For such a small state, Maryland has what other states dream of – a fantastic transportation hub with seaports, rail, federal highways, large military bases which are growing due to BRAC – yet we have become a federal welfare state. What do I mean? For the last seven years I have watched this legislature spend itself into a hole. Never have they shown restraint in spending, nor have they been able to control their lust for your money. I, on the other hand, have voted against the last six budgets. I hoped that this year would see a reduction in spending. But this will not happen because of Pres. Obama’s big welfare check disguised as a stimulus package. And where does the federal money come from? Out of your pocket, your children’s pockets, and your grandchildren’s pockets. It is a debt that may never be paid. So with money like this flowing into the State, what motive is there for the Governor and the General Assembly to reduce spending?
I have children and grandchildren. What we are creating for their future frightens me. Most residents of Harford County saw a 9% tax increase on property which has probably lost 20% of its value. At the same time, illegal aliens came to this General Assembly demanding instate tuition at colleges, unemployment benefits, health care, and job training at the taxpayers’ expense. Governor O’Malley is pushing through a gun confiscation bill disguised as a domestic violence bill. There is also a climate change bill which the O’Malley administration claims will create 300,000 jobs. However, the way our government works, it will probably cause the loss of 600,000 jobs when industry and businesses move out of the State.
I would like to bring to your attention some of this year’s bad bills. Senate Bill 554, the Chesapeake Bay Nitrogen Reduction Act of 2009, requires all new and all replaced septic systems to use new nutrient reduction technologies. This would add $8000 to the regular cost of a septic system. At a time when the elderly and families are scrambling to pay property taxes, do we really want this additional burden? And it is an unnecessary and financially irresponsible burden, because it is a fact that septic systems in environmentally sensitive areas produce a negligible amount of nutrient run-off (hundredths of one percent) and in non-environmentally sensitive areas it is zero percent.
House Bill 1083, entitled Environment – On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems – Requirements, introduced by Del. Schuh, would require all septic systems in the state to be inspected every ten years by private inspection firms to determine whether the systems are failing. He describes this as pro-business legislation, as it would double the amount of workfor septic installers. I would call this an anti-consumer and an anti-property rights bill. Call Del. Schuh at 410-841-3206 and demand he withdraw this bill, as I have.
The agriculture industry is fighting House Bill 929 (Agriculture – Fertilizers and Pesticides – Release Reporting) introduced by Del. Hubbard, an extreme radical environmentalist. This bill would require reporting of all chemcials and fertilizers used, enact taxes and fees to a max of $2500/year/person, levy fines of up to $20,000 for failure to promptly report, and gives the Md. Dept. of Agriculture the right to enter private property to inspect with little notice. This bad bill would create an unfriendly working environment for family farms, drive up their cost of doing business and thus the cost of food – not to mention fear of reprisals and loss of due process.
There is some good legislation to support. HB 1248 (Agriculture – Nutrient Management Plans – Confidentiality) by Del. Shank protects farmers and their intellectual property in the form of plans created at great cost and submitted to the Ag. Dept. It prevents the Ag. Dept. from sharing or giving these plans to any person or government agency, and requires the files be destroyed or returned after three years.
Several more good bills which I support are bills to help re-regulate the utility industry. With another rate hike having been approved for BGE, it is disgraceful that in the seven years I have been here the Maryland General Assembly has taken no action to correct this. These bills are HB 696 Constellation Energy Group – Review Commission, HB 720 Nuclear Generating Facility – Sale of Electricity at Lowest Best Price, HB 842 Public Service Commission – Required Approval – Acquisition of Generation Facility, and HB 1312 Md. Electricity Reregulation and Energy Independence Act of 2009.
I thank you for the opportunity to serve you. I am committed to being the loyal opposition to the liberal agenda, and will stand up and support what little common sense survives in Annapolis.