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Chairman's Message

Stop the Annapolis Special Session: Not Another Nightmare on the Severn

Posted: May 5, 2012 at 10:58 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

County Executive Ike Leggett said on WTOP’s “Ask the County Executive” program on Thursday: “We are better off with the doomsday versus the original budget.” According to Leggett: “That’s how bad the regular session treated Montgomery County.”

On the same day Leggett announced his opposition to a special session, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley made a plea for party unity. According to the Washington Post, the Governor sent an e-mail criticizing Republicans for their recent statements that returning to Annapolis for a special session is not necessary.

Republican leaders, such as Senate Republican Leader E.J. Pipkin, have opposed the special session, saying the state could live with the budget for the year.

“The so-called doomsday budget cuts just 2% of the state’s general fund spending,” Pipkin said in an email quoted in the Maryland Reporter. “It’s difficult to view a 2% cut as draconian. It’s not draconian. Actually, it’s modest. “What we have now is a budget that is balanced with spending cuts,” without raising taxes or fees.

The Maryland chapter of Americans for Prosperity has even launched a petition drive against a special session. AFP petition

“During the legislative session, Annapolis politicians decided playing political games was more important than responsibly balancing our state budget – something working class Marylanders have to do every day,” AFP-Maryland State Director Dave Schwartz told the Maryland Reporter. “Now they want a special session to spend more money and pass new tax hikes.”

The Maryland’s legislature 90 day session is usually provides ample time complete work on the state’s business for the year. This year the Governor and legislative leaders had a completely different priority than the state’s finances.

Rather than working together on a budget, state Democratic leaders focused energies on the legal redefinition of marriage.

They try mightily to obfuscate the consequence their same-sex ‘marriage’ legislation, suggesting that gay marriage would simply exist alongside traditional marriage as a kind of parallel category. They misstate the legal consequence of their legislative action. They are trying to redefine Marriage for everyone. In the place of traditional marriage, a new, redefined version of marriage as a genderless institution would be the only legally recognized definition of marriage in Maryland. Such a radical change in the definition of marriage will produce a host of societal conflicts that government, exercising its broad enforcement powers, will have to resolve. Citizens, small businesses and religious organizations whose own beliefs, traditions, morals or ethnic upbringing are at odds with the new definition of marriage will find themselves subjected to legal consequences if they do not act according to the new legal orthodoxy.

Rather than complete work on the state’s budget for the next fiscal year, Maryland’s Democratic leaders chose radical social engineering. For them, pushing their social agenda was more important than working on the state’s business.

Consider the harm done to the state by the 2007 Special Session when the General Assembly enacted $1.4 billion in new taxes. As a result of the increases, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation dropped Maryland to the state with the fourth worst business climate in the country. So much economic activity moved from the state, that the projected revenues from the new taxes fell far short of the anticipated targets.

So for once then, Montgomery County Republicans can join our Democratic County Executive with a unified message. Instead of calling a special session, the misnamed “doomsday” budget should be allowed to go into effect. The Maryland State legislature should do no more damage in 2012.

Mark Uncapher
Montgomery County Republican Chairman