From Delegate Kathy Szeliga:
I’m disappointed with the failed leadership in Annapolis that will most likely force the legislature back for a Special Session. The budget that was passed has been labeled a “Doomsday budget.” This budget increases spending by $700 million – not a “Doomsday” for most people!
In Maryland, it’s the governor’s responsibility to shepherd his budget through the General Assembly. The O’Malley-Brown team was too busy working for special interests (like off-shore wind power and same sex marriage) and playing national politics to get the job finished last week. While the numerous tax proposals, including the gas tax, did not pass, the Maryland State budget still grew by $700 million.
The real winners in the 2012 budget proposal are taxpayers because the tax bill or the Governor’s gas tax did not pass. During the Special Session called in November of 2007, the leadership in Annapolis raised an unprecedented amount of taxes. I am concerned that any Special Session called in the next six weeks could turn into another “Special Taxing Session.” I hope that the leadership in Annapolis will commit to a disciplined course of action that will not last more than one or two days and will not turn into a taxfest.
The budget debacle has left counties wondering what is going on. The teachers’ pension shift that will cost counties millions of dollars is in the BRFA, the bill that never made it through the House. Counties are left wondering how to craft their own budgets with uncertainty from the state.
I know that the leadership in Annapolis will be calling us back for a Special Session because they should not lay off 500 state employees by July 1 that is required without action – especially while increasing spending on other things. Laying off 500 people is certainly a jobs killer when it’s your job that gets eliminated.
We need adult decisions and agreements by the Democrat leadership before we are called back to Annapolis. I will be in Annapolis whenever they call us back and I will continue to stand up for the 96% of Marylanders that say they pay enough in taxes. Families are struggling today and they simply cannot pay more taxes.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming my way.
Delegate Kathy Szeliga