From Del. Kathy Szeliga:
Rain Tax Repeal is Coming Over
Senate Passes a Rain Tax Repeal
The Senate passed a version of the Rain Tax repeal this week, SB 863 It passed unanimously. SB 863 has been assigned to my committee, Environment & Transportation. This committee killed Gov. Hogan’s bill strictly along party lines.
SB 863 is not Governor Hogan’s bill. I am very concerned about this bill because it looks like the unintended consequences could increase the cost of real estate. I’m doing my homework on this now.
Who would be against repealing the Rain Tax? It’s common sense.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is putting a full court press on this issue in hopes to defeat the rain tax repeal. They are strong supporters of the Rain Tax. They have generated more than 25,000 emails to legislators urging them to fight against Gov. Hogan and legislators supporting the rain tax repeal. CBF Fights the Rain Tax Repeal .
The Maryland League of Women’s Voters also opposes the Rain Tax Repeal. You thought the LWV was a non-partisan voter information organization, but they are not. They have a very liberal agenda and testify in Annapolis regularly. Click Here to Read for Yourself
It is very interesting that the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is supporting SB 863 yet they oppose repealing the tax.
Bill introduced called Death with Dignity
HB 1021, Death with Dignity was assigned to the Health and Government Operations Committee. This bill is an assisted suicide measure. As a member of the Environment and Transportation Committee, I was not able to hear the testimony on this bill, nor will I be able to vote on the bill unless it comes out of the HGO committee.
HB 1021, Death with Dignity, is a deeply flawed bill. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of assisted suicide, this particular bill is not ready for prime time. My concerns are:
– Screening for depression is not required
– No family notification is required
– No doctor or nurse is present when the person commits suicide
– Not enough safeguards to prevent someone from needlessly taking their own life
I will not be supporting this bill and I do not think it will get out of committee this year. It’s literally a matter of life or death and a very important bill to get right.
Resurrection on Monday
Bill Rises from the Dead (and it wasn’t Easter!)
Last Friday, there was healthy debate on the House floor regarding HB 54. This bill raises fees for court filings to pay for a court computer system. While I agree with fees to pay for services rather than taxing the general public to pay for users, this bill has some problems. After lengthy debate about the large fees imposed on people getting evicted, this bill was voted down on the House floor 59-77. I voted against this bill as well as two powerful committee chairman. Baltimore City will increase fees on people getting evicted three times in the last five years if this bill passes. These are the very people who cannot afford higher fees as they are having a very difficult time paying their bills. That is the main point of opposition on this bill.
The House Leadership was VERY upset about the defeat of this bill. Only two or three times in a four year term do we see a bill get defeated on the House floor.
What a difference the weekend makes … and then there was Monday …
The exact same bill was reconsidered – absolutely no changes to the bill. The rules of the House of Delegates allow a bill that is defeated to be reconsidered within two legislative days. There must be a simple majority to allow a reconsideration.
It passed 82-58.
The raw unfettered power of the Leadership in Annapolis was on full display. I’m surprised they did not reconsider the bill, amend out the fee on evictions, and then re-vote the bill. It’s days like this that makes me proud to be an independent thinker and a Republican in Annapolis.
Sticking Up for the Little Guy
Defending my constituents in Baltimore County
The residents that live near the Eastern Sanitary Landfill are looking for their day in Towson. With the expansion of the landfill, the people who live in the Bowerman-Loreley Beach community want to petition Baltimore County for some level of property tax credit for the nuisance of an expanded operation.
Senator JB Jennings and I introduced a bill to enable Baltimore County to consider their tax credit and hopefully, offer some relief. The Baltimore County Executive has been staunchly opposed and killed the bill last year.
I’m happy to report to you that it looks like Senator Jennings and I will get the bill passed this year!
This situation has not been without drama. So much so that it’s been in the Baltimore Sun three times. Co Exec Kamenetz has not played fairly with this issue and sent an email to the parents at Dulaney High and Pikesville High falsely alleging that should this small tax credit bill get passed their schools would not get repaired.
You can read my Opinion piece in the Sun by Clicking Here.
Thank you for your continued help and support. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance to you and your family.
Delegate Kathy Szeliga