From Del. Wayne Norman:
Governor O’Malley has ordered yet another Special Session for Maryland’s General Assembly. We legislators get to return to Annapolis for a second time this summer, this time to take up the issue of expanded gaming in the great State of Maryland.
As you may recall, the Governor convened a Special Session earlier this summer in order to amend the so-called “Doomsday Budget”. That budget was actually a default spending plan that included a responsible two-percent year-over-year spending increase and no new taxes. The budget that ultimately passed, despite my vehement opposition, included millions of dollars in additional spending and taxes. Now, only weeks later, we are going back into Special Session again.
The Maryland Constitution states that the Governor may convene a Special Session of the Legislature in the case of an “emergency”. Special Session 2.0 is being convened so that we can debate the “emergency” issue of whether a mammoth casino should be allowed to operate at National Harbor in Prince George’s County.
The purpose of this letter is not to debate the propriety of expanded gaming in Maryland. My purpose in writing is to explain why I plan to be present in Annapolis when so many others are suggesting that I stay home in protest.
As I see it, I was elected to represent the people of northern Harford County in the Legislature. Because I am a conservative, small government Republican and most of my colleagues in Annapolis are liberal, big government Democrats, I am often on the losing side of votes on the House floor and my amendments tend to be rejected.
While expressing my opinions on legislation or exercising my voting privileges may seem futile at times, I believe I have duty to fulfill my duties as a Delegate, which includes taking leave from running my small business and showing up for work in Annapolis when I am called to do so, regardless of whether I agree with the underlying motives of the Governor and his allies in the General Assembly.
So, when we return to Annapolis on August 9, I plan to actively participate in the debate. The Governor’s gaming proposal has yet to be formally introduced, so I have not had a chance to review it. As a general principle, though, I am inclined to support expanded gaming in Maryland if it can be done responsibly and results in good paying, permanent jobs without burdening the taxpayer or expanding the size of government.
As always, I would like to thank my constituents for the opportunity to represent northern Harford County in the Maryland General Assembly. Regardless of whether the General Assembly is in session or not, my constituents are free to contact me at Wayne Norman, P.O Box 173, Jarrettsville, Maryland 21084, or at (410) 692-9401.