From the office of Del. Mary-Dulany James:
I don’t care if an idea is a Republican idea or a Democrat idea, as long as it is a good idea for the people of Cecil and Harford Counties.
Although members of both parties serve on all our legislative committees and subcommittees I was pleased that both the House Appropriations Committee (on which I serve as the Chair of the Health and Human Resources subcommittee) and the Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee invited the Republican leadership to formally present their suggestions and opinions to help Maryland continue balancing its budget while preserving the services that taxpayers count on.. The hearing was open to the public and much anticipated by all of who believe in true bipartisanship and the notion that as Henry Ford said “coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is
progress. Working together is success.”
It was disappointing when I began reading that some of my Senate colleagues were making the news by refusing to attend. The budget process is a serious one and is not “a political sideshow” as some put it. Our budget committee members work hard in a bi-partisan manner on behalf of all Marylanders. It was even more disappointing when very few Republican Senators attended and their leadership was not present. I do want to note that the House Republican Leadership did come prepared and the House Delegations from both Harford and Cecil Counties had a presence at the meeting.
The budget ideas presented by two Minority Senators would result in a
$14.35 million cut in aid to Harford County and a $6.79 million cut to Cecil County with the vast majority of cuts coming to K-12 education and Community College funding, shifting expenses to our already struggling county governments.
Balancing the budget and our competing needs is not something that can be completed in one afternoon. I think every opportunity to be part of the process should be seized. Headlines back home about the budget are no substitute for doing the hard work in Annapolis. Our constituents expect nothing less from us. People like my father would be turning in their graves at the idea/reality that any Harford or Cecil County Senator was neglecting to come to the table to find common sense solutions.
Throughout the session our Appropriations members from both parties attend hearings on each aspect of the budget. We all offer ideas using the input of our constituents, State Agencies, budget analyst recommendations, and more when writing the final budget. Not all of my ideas are incorporated into the budget but I will always be at the table, representing your voice in Annapolis. A famous quote by John Quincy Adams seems appropriate: “an idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.”
I’d like to know how you feel about the events of this past week, please take my survey by clicking here. I look forward to reading all of your responses.
Very Truly Yours,
Harford and Cecil Counties