April 18, 2016 9:34 pm ET
Rick Fletcher trial this Wednesday and more news from Annapolis
This blog is just to keep the folks informed on some important matters taking place on the east side.
First we have the Rick Fletcher case taking place on Wednesday, April 20 at 9 a.m. on the third floor of the Towson Circus (oops, Circuit) Court before Judge Evans.
For those who can make it, you will see how the justice (or should that be injustice) system fails and turns into what Trump calls “The Art of The Deal.”
Sadly, the victims have no say in the matter.
Pam Wood from the Sun will also be attending. Ms. Wood has covered Rick’s case from the beginning.
On another matter of interest to the voters, I received this press release from Del. Bob Long:
Join Delegate Bob Long, the 6th District Delegation and Sen. Johnny Ray Salling for an After Session Town Hall meeting where they will discuss and take questions about their 90 days in Annapolis.
Join the team at the North Point Library Meeting Room on Tuesday, April 26 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
For more information, call 410-841-3478 or e-mail email@example.com.
In addition, Del. Long sent along this briefing on some of the issues facing our east side delegation.
This message is published as written.
We are finally done with The 2016 General Assembly Session in Annapolis. There was some good and some not-so-good legislation passed over the 90-day session.
Overall, I believe we are changing Maryland for the better. For the second straight year, no new taxes were added to the state and for the first time in nearly a decade, we passed a budget free from gimmick and structural deficiencies.
One of the highlights of the Governor’s operating budget includes over $50 million for workforce development programs.
More than $27 million will go toward providing job seekers occupational skills, entrepreneurial training, and job search assistance in Maryland’s 12 Workforce Investment Areas. The budget also works to promote economic development and to protect the environment. With the unemployed in mind, the Governor’s budget includes funds for job seekers. Approximately $17 million will be provided to job centers across the state to aid in providing assistance to job seekers through referrals, career counseling, and job training.
We worked hard to improve Maryland’s business environment and to bring jobs to the 6th District.
This Session was not without its challenges. One of Governor Hogan’s top priorities – eliminating some of the state’s mandated spending – did not gain traction in the General Assembly this year. The Governor’s proposal (SB375 / HB449) would provide common-sense mandate reform, reduce mandated spending increases in years when revenues don’t keep pace, and ensure that future budgets continue to prioritize key expenditures like education and health care.
With 83 percent of Maryland’s spending being mandated – that is set in law – there is very little room to work with in years when revenues fall short. These mandates cause automatic spending increases that can often lead to budget shortfalls. During the previous Administration when Maryland’s revenues fell drastically during the Great Recession, the Governor and General Assembly played lip service to addressing mandate reform, but chose tax increases instead.
It is a shame that the Democrats in the General Assembly did not give serious consideration to Governor Hogan’s mandate reforms. Hopefully, it is something they will take to heart next year.
I was proud of my bill HB 337 (Baltimore County Property Tax Credit – Revitalization Districts) that would allow the Baltimore County Council and the administration to create a residential revitalization tax credit. The bill passed 135-0 in the House but it stalled in the Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee.
As we move forward toward the 2017 Session, I will be working to form a comprehensive legislative package aimed at improving our neighborhoods, be present in our community, answer any and all questions and concerns, and continue to work with Governor Hogan to change Maryland for the better.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. It is my pleasure to serve you both in Annapolis and in our community.
Delegate Bob Long