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Email Updates from Previous Weeks of the Current Legislative Session
April 6, 2012
This was the last full week of the 2012 Legislative Session. We will be in session tomorrow, Saturday, and next Monday. The end of the session (sine die) takes place precisely at midnight on Monday.
Because many of the major bills are still making their way through the legislative negotiation process without a final resolution, I am going to report on just a few today and save others for my final 2012 Legislative Update next week.
Feelings have run high on several issues this week including health costs, clean water, and energy fees, yet moments of disrespect were thankfully held to a minimum during debate on these matters. It is encouraging to see more legislators appear to understand that when we treat others with respect it comes back to us many fold.
Each week, I receive many messages in response to or commenting on this update. Last week I wrote that “We legislators often hear from effective organizations that lobby for good environmental causes, human rights, education, the arts, open government, and on and on. What we are in dire need of is a group to shine a bright light on economic injustice.” One message I received in response inquired as to whether Neil Bergsman of the Budget and Tax Institute fills this role. The answer is “yes” he does, and we need more of him. As a matter of fact, I included the following op ed by Neil in a February Legislative Update. Rereading it now with the perspective of an additional two months, we legislators ate some veggies but left the special interest tax exemption variety on our collective plate.
To preserve Maryland's quality of life, it's time to 'eat our vegetables' and accept revenue increases along with cuts; by Neil L. Bergsman
News articles related to major issues in this legislative session
Md. General Assembly has much to do in a week (This article outlines well the work facing us in the legislature when the week began. Some of it has been decided upon and much remains undecided going into the weekend.)
Maryland’s winds can blow money ashore (Looking out of my third story window one night this week, I saw below friends from back home participating in “Encircle the State House”. They were walking in support of the wind energy bill. It was a beautiful sight to see hundreds of human beings of all ages, many holding blue lights, encircling the oldest State House in continuous use in our nation. On my way downstairs to go outside and greet some folks from my community, I was mindful of a song I love, “Vincent - Starry, Starry Night”.)
A better wind bill
Likely developers of Md. casinos battle over customers(Those of us who worked against slots several years ago predicted that full casinos would soon follow. Not that it was a difficult prediction given the experience of many other states who ventured into government sanctioned gambling with slot machines before Maryland.)
Mayor backs casino bill as debate moves to House of Delegateswww.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-gambling-house-20120330,0,1230355.story
Our view: Bill to add another slots parlor and table games promises massive benefits to casino operators but little for the state
Maryland should not fall again for gambling’s siren songhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/maryland-should-not-fall-again-for-gamblings-siren-song/2012/04/03/gIQAT8fwtS_story.html
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