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Liz Bobo
Our State Delegate
for Legislative District 12B
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Legislative Issues

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Email Update

March 16, 2012

On Monday, I attended the funeral service for Patty Rouse.  Christ Episcopal Church in Columbia was filled with people from all walks of life who came to pay tribute to a loving, passionate woman who was devoted to helping low income human beings have a good home.  Speakers at the service spoke beautifully and reverently.  They also referred to the passing of an era now that neither Patty nor Jim Rouse is here on this earth with us.  I found myself thinking "must that era pass?"  Yes, their bodies are no longer with us, though their spirit remains, and we can carry on that spirit.  After Jim's death, Patty compiled a collection of about twenty of his speeches covering a span of about thirty-five years.  Lloyd gave me a copy of this publication as a gift inscribed by Patty.  I treasure my books, and none more than this volume. 

After the funeral service, I reread some of Jim's speeches. On November 7, 1993, People for the American Way presented him with their Spirit of Liberty Award for his successful affordable housing work in Sandtown Winchester, Baltimore. In accepting this award Jim Rouse said, "What ought to be can be, if we have the will to make it so."   May we now have the will and the wisdom to keep the spirit and ideals of Jim and Patty Rouse alive in our beloved new town of Columbia, Maryland.

PATCH interview with Liz about Patty Rouse:

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News articles related to major issues in this legislative session 

I reported last week on the budget proposal from the Senate which involves some major changes from the governor's proposal, including the deletion of the increase in the gas tax.  Now we know that the Senate also included in its budget a shift of a portion of teachers’ pensions to the counties as well as what is called “the millionaire’s tax.”

The Appropriations Committee of the House has not yet finalized its proposed budget.  They will complete their work this weekend, and the full House will begin deliberating the budget next week.

The following two articles cover one more strong push by the governor for the gas tax increase.  As you can see, The Baltimore Sun editorialized today in favor of his proposal. I realize that the Sun is correct about the need for funds for transportation projects, and I respect the governor's perseverance and courage in pressing on.  Yet I remain concerned about the regressive nature of this tax increase.  Some Maryland residents who are barely holding on by their fingertips in this economy may lose their grip if this gas tax increase is approved.

There has still been no action on the Combined Reporting Bill which would close a big loophole in Maryland's tax laws for multi-state corporations.  We still have time to act on that, and although it would not bring in as large an amount of revenue as the proposed gas tax increase, it would make a significant contribution.

O'Malley to appeal for gas tax - Governor testifies today as proponents' hopes,0,7748210.story

Gas tax: Pay now or later
Our view: Maryland gas tax proposal may be unpopular, but the outlook is far worse if state does not invest sufficiently in roads, bridges, public transit and other vital transportation infrastructure.,0,1563690.story

Maryland faces millions in costs after paying more for slot devices than expected
I am mindful not to complain about my work as a legislator.  Though I would be less than honest to say that this morning when I read the article below about slots in today’s Washington Post I felt no anger.  Several years ago when we approved slots in Maryland, some of us who voted against the bill pointed out many pitfalls.)

Environmental Matters Committee   

Warming: Storm damage ahead
Our view: New studies on climate change underscore risk posed to Maryland and other coastal communities by rising tides and major storms

(Although this Sun editorial focuses on the coastal areas of our state, we in Howard County are the stewards of significant portions of the Patapsco and Patuxent Rivers and their many tributaries reaching out across our county, including Columbia.),0,2847994.story

Read about Zach

Read past email updates:
week of March 9, 2012
week of March 2, 2012
week of February 23
week of February 17
week of February 10, note on Feb. 16
week of February 3
Because of Zach's hospitalization, there was no legislative update for the week of January 27.
week of January 20
week of January 13

Click here to read Liz's email updates for the 2011 Legislative Session (January - April 2011);
click here to read Liz's email updates for the remainder of 2011 (April - December 2011).

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