From Del. Kathy Szeliga:
DEATH AND TAXES
Welcome to another edition of the Szeliga update! This week I will be addressing the Death Penalty Repeal (SB 276) and new abortion clinic regulations that are receiving support from pro-life and pro-choice groups and the Md budget that passed out of the House today.
DEATH PENALTY REPEAL
The House of Delegates met this week to consider the Death Penalty Repeal, a bill that effectively makes life without parole the highest punishment for a crime in Maryland.
The bill passed on Friday, March 15. There were many amendments offered on the House floor that would have allowed the death penalty to be used in extraordinary circumstances but none passed. Following are some of the amendments that would have allowed for a death penalty punishment exception in Maryland:
Cop Killers Amendment – Criminals who murder law enforcement officers in the line of duty.
Murder While Serving a Life without Parole Amendment – murderers who kill another person while serving a death sentence or life without parole in prison – killing a corrections officer, prison personnel, or another inmate.
Sarah Haley Foxwell Amendment – murderers who kidnap, rape and murder children – Sarah from Salisbury was kidnapped two days before Christmas, brutally raped, mutilated, set on fire and finally killed by Thomas Leggs, Jr. – a convicted sex offender. Her body was found on Christmas Day. Leggs admitted to murdering Sarah and called his own actions “a monstrous act.”
Mass Murderers Amendment – murderers that rape and kill more than ten people, such as the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy, who murdered and raped several young women in the 1970s as well as the DC sniper you might remember who was executed in Virginia.
Newtown Amendment – criminals who commit first degree murder on the grounds of a school.
No Perks Amendment! – criminals serving a sentence of life without parole (there will no longer be death penalty sentences) would not have access to T.V., Internet, educational services, the library, or visitors (except in the case of legal counsel).
I voted for all of these amendments. Unfortunately, all of these amendments and a few other worthy amendments failed to pass on the House floor.
There is currently a very high standard of evidence in Maryland to charge and convict a criminal with the death penalty. I support the death penalty for heinous crimes as it is currently permitted in Maryland. The governor has essentially repealed the death penalty during his term as governor as he has not imposed this on any criminals on death row. I voted against this bill.
BIPARTISAN ABORTION REGULATIONS
It’s nice when Planned Parenthood and Pro-Life leaders agree on any type of abortion issue. After the death of a patient, Maryland State Health Officials shut down four abortion clinics owned by Dr. Steven Brigham, who isn’t licensed to practice medicine in our State. New regulations require abortion clinics to be licensed and inspected. Planned Parenthood and the Maryland Catholic Conference both support these new regulations knowing that they improve women’s health and safety.
You can read more about how these regulations from this WBAL News Article:
It’s nice to have regulations that protect women’s health and also receive support from both sides of the issue!
MARYLAND STATE BUDGET
The Maryland State budget and accompanying BURFA both passed out of the House of Delegates today. The final vote was 101 for and 36 against.
The great recession began in 2007. Over that time, the state budget has increased almost 26%, about $8 billion. During the same time period, personal income growth has been a mere 2%. Government spending is far outpacing family incomes.
Over the last seven years, the MD budget growth (just state – not federal $) has cost a family of four an additional $5,200. Our families’ budgets have grown only about $1500. ($70K = $1400, $85K=$1700, $100K = $2,000, $150K=$3,000)
If there were ever a time to have zero budget growth or even make a small cut it would be now after years and years of +$billion annual spending increases. Because of this, I voted NO – against the budget and BRFA bills.
TOWN HALL UPDATE – ANDY HARRIS!
We just received the good news that Congressman Andy Harris will be joining us on Saturday for our Town Hall. Please be sure and come out to voice your opinion about firearm legislation at the Parkton American Legion Hall this Saturday. Join me and Delegates Aumann, Boteler, Impallaria, and McDonough for a town hall discussion from 10:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M. Other invited guests include the Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, the NRA, and MD Shall Issue.
The Parkton American Legion is located at 19520 York Rd., Parkton, MD 21120.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming my way.
Delegate Kathy Szeliga