From Del. Kathy Szeliga:
What an exciting week! Congratulations to the Ravens, our hometown hero’s and champions of Super Bowl XLVII!! I definitely have Purple Fever!! GO RAVENS!
We had another busy week in Annapolis with thousands coming out to oppose Governor O’Malley’s proposed, “Firearms Safety Act of 2013.” I will have a more comprehensive update this proposed gun legislation and alternative solutions next week.
Thursday was the last day to introduce bills you can check all proposed legislation at Maryland General Assembly .
Here are five bills that I am proud to be the lead sponsor of:
HB-622 – Natural Resources – Oyster Harvesting – Distribution of Oyster Tags
As a member of the Waterman’s Caucus that was recently started by Delegate Jay Jacobs of the Upper Shore, I learned about a major problem facing our oystermen. Since Baltimoreans love their oysters, I wanted to help smooth the way for the waterman to have as many tags (necessary marking system to identify where oysters are harvested) as they need in 30 day allotments. This bill would cut out some of the red tape for the oysterman.
HB-686 – Professional Boards Special Funds – Transfer of Funds – Three-Fifths Committee Vote
Professional Boards are the organizations that issue licenses and services to professions like architects, engineers, home improvement contractors, physicians, etc. Licensing fees have increased over the years. Unfortunately, the “extra” money in these accounts has been routinely transferred to the general fund of the state. Instead of leaving money in those funds to enhance professional services or the board – or better yet reducing the licensing fees, it’s become habitual to use these funds for a cash stream. While we are not allowed to forbid the governor from transferring this money, this bill will require a three-fifths majority vote by legislators to take this money. I hope this will stop the governor from using these fees as a revenue opportunity.
HB-824 Environment – Sewer Overflow or Treatment Plant Bypass – Electronic Notice
This is a notification bill that will help people know when there are sewer overflows that may affect their homes, businesses, and/or boating areas. The Maryland Department of the Environment will be required to list these overflows in an easier format. It will also require MDE to notify legislators and any interested citizen via email about any sewer overflows from facilities they are interested in knowing about. My district includes a lot of waterfront from Essex to Harford County. We should know when there is an overflow from the Back River Waste Water Treatment Plant, as well as any other facility of interest to citizens.
HB – # not assigned yet – Firearm Permits for Armored Car Companies
This legislation is another common sense measure to help businesses get things done more effectively. Armored car companies are having a tough time getting their employees’ firearm permits expedited. This bill will allow the State Police to use the thorough background checks already performed by Armored car money transport companies on their employees.
HB – # not assigned yet- Credit Card Swipe Fees
Delegate Aumann and I filed an emergency bill, “Consumer Protection – Payment by Credit Card – Prohibition of Surcharge.” This hidden fee effective on January 30, 2013, allows Visa and Mastercard to impose a 2%-3% “swipe fee” to consumers who make a purchase with credit cards. These extra fees will have a harmful effect on purchasing power for consumers. Currently, there are 10 states that prohibit swipe fees from being imposed on their consumers. We hope to add Maryland to that list.
Tax Free Shopping for Marylanders
Qualifying Engery Star products will be exempt from Maryland’s 6% sales tax on Saturday, February 16 – Monday, February 18th. To find a list of tax-exempt products visit Marylandtaxes.com.
Please do not hesitate to call or email me with any questions or if I can be of assistance to you and your family.
Delegate Kathy Szeliga
303 House Office Building
6 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
Toll Free in MD – 1-800-492-7122 x3698
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming my way.
Delegate Kathy Szeliga