From the office of Del. Rick Impallaria:
I have introduced five pieces of legislation this year, and I’d like to give you a synopsis of them.
House Bill 653 – Taxes – Limitations is scheduled for a hearing on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 1 pm before the House Ways and Means Committee. It is modeled after California’s Proposition 13, which brought property tax reform to that state. This bill would set property values at their 2010 value and only allow property tax increases or decreases of 2% every two years based on the Consumer Price Index. It also prevents property values from being increased when the title is being changed due to death, divorce, or other circumstances where the property is staying in the hands of a family member. It also provides that, if a person’s property is purchased through condemnation, the assessed value of the new property he buys cannot be more than the assessed value of the condemned property. It also prevents assessments from being raised when a property is improved after a loss incurred by fire or flood.
House Bill 654 – Harford County – Towing and Removing Vehicles – will be heard in the House Environmental Matters Committee (no date set). Harford County is the only county having no regulation of trespass tow companies (removing parked cars from private or commercial properties). We have had complaints from, for example, families of elderly persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease whose cars were removed with no notification sent, and from military personnel who had their vehicles towed while they were overseas on active duty. This bill requires towing companies to register with the Sheriff’s Office, outlines a procedure to be followed when vehicles are removed, including notifying the vehicle owners, and sets out the fees the tow companies can charge.
House Bill 655 – State Government – Furloughs and Temporary Salary Reductions – will be heard in the House Appropriations Committee (no date yet). This bill prevents the State Government from furloughing state empoloyees in a year in which the state budget has been increased over the prior year. If the State must furlough personnel, a special session must be called to reduce the budget to the prior year’s level, and every state employee who receives a paycheck, including the governor, elected officials, and appointees, will equally be affected by the furlough or pay reduction.
House Bill 656 – Election Law – Voting by Felons at Polling Places – will be heard today in the House Ways and Means Committee. Last year the State of Maryland granted voting privileges to felons. This bill would require felons to vote by absentee ballot. While I do not support felons voting, I believe this bill is necessary to correct a loophole in last year’s law which would allow murderers and pedophiles access to our elementary schools, giving them the opportunity to see the lay of the land.
House Bill 725 – Campaign Finance – Contributions by Foreign Nationals – Will be heard today in the Ways and Means Committee. This bill prevents elected officials and candidates for elected office in Maryland from accepting contirbutions from foreign nationals, both corporations and individuals.
If you would like further information on these bills, go to the General Assembly website http://mlis.state.md.us, click on Bill Information and Status, and put in the bill number, using the abbrevation HB for House bills (also SB for Senate bills). You can view the text of the bill by clicking on the heading HOUSE BILL xx. There is a lot of other information available from the website, and if you require further assistance please ask, and my staff will be happy to help you. We can also advise you how to contact the individual committee members, if you would like to write them about these or any bills being considered this year.
Delegate, District 7 (Baltimore & Harford Counties)
Annapolis Office: 410-841-3334