From Sen. Nancy Jacobs:
In this year’s legislative session, lawmakers will address many issues that will affect all Marylanders, especially when it comes to their pocketbooks. I am working hard in Annapolis to represent your interests and try to prevent any further financial burden on your daily lives.
Earlier this week, Governor O’Malley proposed his 2013 budget, which increases both spending and taxes. He proposes to increase the gas tax by as much as 15 cents a gallon. An independent Gonzales Research poll found that 76% of Marylanders oppose the increase, and 62% strongly oppose it. This proposed tax hike demonstrates just how out of touch the liberals in Annapolis are with the people they are supposed to represent.
For many Marylanders, times are tough. All over the state, people struggle to make ends meet. They are out of work. They are fighting to keep their homes. As we all struggle to stay afloat, an increase in the gas tax is the last thing we need.
As Maryland families tighten their belts, the government should be doing the same. But instead to fill any budget shortfall, O’Malley has raided the Transportation Trust Fund as if it were his own personal piggy bank. Transportation Trust Funds are supposed to be dedicated to building and repairing our highways, yet they’ve been used instead to fuel the Democrats’ bad spending habits. Since the Glendening administration, over one billion dollars has been taken from the Transportation Trust Fund and never repaid, even though Maryland law prohibits it.
That is why, as I fight against the gas tax increase, I am also sponsoring a bill to repay the Transportation Trust Fund. If it passes, in years that the budget has a surplus, the Transportation Trust Fund would be reimbursed up to $50 million. This money would go back to local areas and maintaining our highways.
I believe firmly that, to prosper, Maryland must be business-friendly. Private business, especially small business, creates jobs with innovation. This year, I am introducing a bill to make our often burdensome business regulations more transparent. It requires government agencies to publish proposed regulations online for comment. Any business owner could go online to see and fight regulations that may hurt their company. Greater transparency could help small businesses avoid unnecessary regulation and foster entrepreneurship and job growth in Maryland.
While I am committed to protecting small business, I have also always fought to protect children. The Maryland State’s Attorney’s Association named me Senator of the year and have endorsed two of my child related bills this year.
In light of the Penn State child abuse scandal, I am sponsoring a bill that will give Maryland’s child abuse reporting laws teeth. Currently, Maryland is one of just three states that have no penalty for failing to report child abuse. My bill will give our child abuse reporting laws real consequences.
I am also sponsoring a bill to make it a crime for parents or guardians to not report that their child has died or is missing. The Casey Anthony trial last year showed us there is a loophole in Maryland’s law that, like Florida’s, must be fixed.
So whether it is protecting our children, helping small business to create jobs, repaying the Transportation Trust Fund, or fighting the gas tax hike, I am hard at work representing you in Annapolis. With your support, we can defeat big government and make a better Maryland.