Notes from the Bunker
By Bill Richbourg
I’m taking the opportunity to report to you some of the “post session” thoughts and notes from one of my favorite legislators, Delegate Trent Kittleman – District 9A.
Delegate Kittleman offers her suggestions as to which bills recently passed by the legislature, should be vetoed by the governor. She presents brief but cogent justifications for her suggestions that I believe are ideas that we should consider and, if you agree, add our voices to the call for the governor to exercise his veto authority.
Here is what we can do:
After the 679 bills passed by the General Assembly were sent to Governor Hogan
in March, he has 30 days to sign or veto them. The post-session process has been delayed this year due to COVID-19, and the governor has also made it clear that bills
that require increased spending are unlikely to be signed into law, because of the
impact the pandemic is having on the State’s finances. So, this year we have a REAL OPPORTUNITY to make a difference.
The governor needs our help to oppose the lobbyists who will be fighting hard to protect their clients’ bills. We need to make our voices heard NOW because after May 10, the legislature is likely to be called back for a special session to vote to override the governor’s vetoes.
The bills that Delegate Kittleman chose to veto were selected for the following reasons:
- Excessive cost;
- Create new taxes;
- Bills she is philosophically opposed to
The following is a short summary of six key bills and why she opposes each of them. I urge everyone of you who seriously care about the financial sanity of our state to let the governor (and our Montgomery County legislators) know that you want these bills VETOED!
HB1300 Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (Kirwan Bill)
It is the height of fiscal irresponsibility to mandate billions worth of teacher pay raises, staffing increases, and related pension obligations and focus only on the near term. That approach will stress, even our wealthy county and possible push poorer ones to the financial brink.
HB1260 Historically Black Colleges & Universities
This bill requires that reparations “shall be provided in the form of additional funding in the amount of $577 million” to the four HBCUs over the next ten years, at $57.7 million per year.
HB1122 Protection of Personally Identifiable Information-Public Institutions of Higher Education
The single most intrusive data collection program in the state is the Maryland Longitudinal Data System that collects and stores information on every schoolchild in the state, from pre-school to 20 years beyond the child’s graduation from the last educational institute he or she attends.
HB1000 Building Lifelong Library Learners Act
We all love libraries! However, this bill is simply too expensive to approve right now. This is a misguided effort that eliminates an excellent early lesson in personal responsibility and accountability. Library fines are minimal and many libraries will waive fees in appropriate situations.
HB280 Suspension of Driver’s License or Registration-Unpaid Citations or Judgments
This is another bill that fosters irresponsibility by removing or lessening accountability standards. It takes a system of accountability for traffic violations and spends several million dollars to screw it up! This will result in a significant increase in installment plan requests and will cost the State close to $2 million a year.
I am certain that there are many other bills of questionable value to the citizens of the state. I will identify those as they come up. However, this is a start and we have to contact the governor and our legislators to incur and sustain the governor’s veto.
Bill Richbourg is a member of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee.