PRESS RELEASE

The Work at the Desk is Done

 

For Immediate Release

April 15, 2015

Contact: Judi Wobensmith, 410-841-3278

 

“All in all, I enjoyed my first session representing Cecil and Harford Counties in the Maryland General Assembly.  I knew that the priorities this session would be confronting Maryland’s fiscal problems, unfriendly business climate and tax relief for the citizens of our State. I had hoped that with so many new Delegates we could solve these issues with bi-partisan support.”

Governor Hogan got the 2015 Session off to a good start by introducing a 2016 Budget that not only controlled spending, but also eliminated our ongoing structural deficit in one year. This budget significantly reduced spending growth.  Unfortunately, negotiations broke down when the budget went to the Conference Committee causing the budget to pass without bipartisan support… with all the Republicans voting against it.  Spending and revenues continue to grow apart.  However, Maryland is in much better shape: last year’s budget grew by 8%, this budget only grows 1.5%.

Because of all the amendments to the Governor’s Budget, I voted NO on the Budget and the BRFA.

However, I voted for the Capital Budget to ensure that the Cecil County Farm Museum, Ladew Topiary Gardens, Inc., the City of Havre de Grace and the Susquehanna Hose Company, Inc would receive grants for renovation and reconstruction.

The first year of my term I was appointed to the Ways and Means Committee and assigned to the Election Law and Revenues Subcommittees. I also served as the Republican Deputy Whip for this committee. Three of the bills we discussed in my committee assignments were:

 

HB 980 Election Law – Voting Rights – Ex-Felons

This bill restores voting rights to convicted felons upon their release from prison.  Current law does not allow a convicted felon to apply to become a registered voter until the completion of their entire sentence, including their period of parole and probation.  This change allows felons to vote upon their release from prison.

Amendments to the bill by the Republicans included:

  • exempting violent offenders; requiring that certain violent offenders only be allowed to vote by absentee ballot.
  • change the title of the bill to reflect the true nature of what the bill does.

 

These did not pass.

I fought and voted against this bill.

HB 644 Property Tax Credit – Elderly Individuals and Veterans

Authorizes local governments to grant a property tax credit for a dwelling of an individual who is at least 65 years old and has live in the same house 40 years, or retired member of the U.S. Armed Forces who is at least 65 years old. The Tax Credit may not exceed 20% of the county or municipal property tax imposed on the property and may be granted for up to five years.

HB 686 Income Tax Checkoff – Maryland Veterans Trust Fund

Established the MD Veterans Trust Fund Checkoff on the individual tax return form.  After the Comptroller deducts administrative expenses, the contributions are credited to the Fund and distributed by the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA).

I proudly voted for both of these bills.

It is an honor and a privilege to have been elected by, and to serve the citizens of Cecil and Harford Counties as their Delegate. 

 

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