Legislative Wrap Up: Top Issues in Annapolis

Every week Library and Information Services publishes a Legislative Wrap Up where they cover the major issues on the table in Annapolis.  The first one for the 2011 Session is out and there are some interesting points to note. 

First, guess who was elected President of the Maryland Senate?  Wow, we can’t pull the wool over your eyes, now can we?  Senator Mike Miller began his 25th year as President.  Seriously?  25 years?  And people wonder why we keep finding ourselves in the these budget crisis’.  If you’re never willing to change, how can you possibly expect different results?  Let’s hope Maryland wakes up in 2012 and 2014.  Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Second, let’s take a look at some of the major issues we’re facing this session. 

 civil unions and same sex marriages;
 federal health care reform implementation;
 in-state college tuition for immigrants;
 renewable energy requirements for utility companies;
 slots expansion;
 alcohol and gas tax increases, and
 pension reform.

Does anyone else see a pattern here?  It’s like they just copied the liberal platform and adopted it for the agenda.  You know what frustrates me even more?  There isn’t much we can do about it.  We just don’t have enough votes to make a difference.  As part of the grassroots movement in SW Baltimore County, I’m getting a first hand look at how incredibly important it is to get out there and educate the general population.  We can’t give up.  Now, who’s with me?

Now it’s not just the list that gets to me, it’s what’s lacking from the list as well, redistricting.  We’re not stupid; we knew that they would push off congressional redistricting to a special session in late August or September, but it’s interesting to note that they’re simply choosing the ignore it.  Instead of coming right out and at least warning us that we’re about to get screwed, our elected officials have decided to just pretend the issue doesn’t exist. 

I, for one, don’t think they should get away with this.  We need to call them out at public meetings, make them go on record with a  firm stance.  Use voice recorders and get videos.  If you see an elected official, whether they are from the General Assembly or the County Council, ask them what their plan is for redistricting.  Ask them if they plan to divide neighborhoods and communities.  Ask them why there are 5 congressional districts that come into Baltimore County and City. 

Don’t give up peeps.  There is much work to be done.  Come hang out with us tonight at our monthly Happy Hour.  We’re meeting at Dimitri’s on Frederick Rd in Catonsville between 5 and 8 pm.  Be there or be square.  (Yep, I just wrote that…deal with it).


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