From State Sen. Bob Cassilly:
In Governor Hogan’s state of the State address he outlined a strong commitment in five areas that are of particular interest to citizens in Harford County: transportation, education, public safety, opioids, and retirees.
Transportation – Harford County has over the past four years under Governor Hogan benefited from numerous highway improvements. These were immediately evident to most of us in the form of traffic disruptions caused by paving operations. So the good news is that we can look forward to continued road improvements over the next four years. The bad news is, we are going to have to patiently endure more traffic disruptions over the next four years.
Schools – A large percentage of the proposed annual budget is dedicated to education. With such an immense investment, it is critical that we provide effective oversight to minimize waste, misuse, or corruption so that adequate State funds are available to raise teacher’s salaries. That is why Governor Hogan is pushing the General Assembly to adopt increased school accountability measures, including the employment of state investigators with subpoena power and full authority to investigate potential corruption and misuse in school systems throughout the state.
Public Safety – Crime flooding out from Baltimore City threatens the entire region. One of the chief causes for the crime epidemic is a criminal justice system in Baltimore City that is seemingly incapable of imposing sentences that will keep repeat violent offenders off of the streets. The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, of which I am a member, continues to hear extensive testimony and analysis on this issue. The Governor has introduced bills to increase public oversight of criminal justice, expand state police resources available to fight crime, and extend sentences for repeat violent offenders.
Opioids – The long, slow fight against the ravages of opioid addiction is enhanced by the Governor’s proposal for record funding. The State will continue our multi-pronged approach that includes prevention, education, treatment, interdiction, and enforcement. This important effort is worth the fight and will take all of us – federal, state, county, municipal, community leaders, and each one of us – working together to save thousands of lives.
Tax Reduction for Retirees – Thanks to our fantastic community, Harford enjoys a large population of retirees who enrich our community in countless ways. Unfortunately, many live on limited incomes and the tax burdens too often compel them to move out of state. Governor Hogan wants the General Assembly to approve lower taxes for all retirees, including exempting 100 percent of retirement income from state taxes and extending tax breaks for retired military, police officers, and fire and rescue workers.
Coming weeks will feature more of the bills being proposed by State Legislators this session. You can follow all of the action on-line at www.mgaleg.maryland.gov.
Very Truly Yours,
Senator, District 34