Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

November 25, 2013

Odds not good

Its agenda may fail, but Md. GOP will put up a fight

Chances are somewhere between slim and slimmest that Maryland’s Republican lawmakers will be able to get any of their legislative agenda passed this coming year — but they should have fun trying.

House Republicans — who are outnumbered by Democrats by a 98-43 margin — previewed their agenda over the weekend, calling for a 10 percent income tax cut, repeal of what is known as the “rain tax” and the scrapping of the Common Core education initiative.

The GOP strategy was unveiled during a speech by House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga (R-Baltimore County) at the annual fall convention of the Maryland Republican Party in Annapolis.

The Baltimore Sun covered the convention and reported that while the lawmakers face long odds for success, they plan to gain attention by forcing Democrats to consider their ideas. Republicans also hope the floor debates will set the tone for statewide elections next year.

The reduction of the income tax may be the biggest talker. In 1994 and 1998, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ellen Sauerbrey pushed for a tax cut, and she nearly won the election both years.

“We’re going to do that (seek a tax cut) again. Who’s going to do a better job of spending your money? You or the government?” the Sun quoted Szeliga as saying.

As for the rain tax — which requires nine state jurisdictions to fund programs to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff — Szeliga said she and her colleagues think the idea is absurd to the point, “It makes us the laughing stock of the nation.”

On Common Core, she said her party wants the program removed from state schools. Maryland is one of 45 states that have adopted standards for a single set of educational benchmarks for kindergarten through grade 12 in English language arts and math. The Republican legislation would allow individual counties withdraw from Common Core if the state does not withdraw from the plan.

Other GOP initiatives for the 2014 General Assembly session will focus on more rights for gun users and a reduction or abolishment of the state’s estate tax.

We have no doubt that Democrats will carry the day in the end. But at least there will be a free-wheeling debate in the process.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where is it?

    Once upon a time, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce held its annual conventions at the Bedford Springs resort hotel near Bedford, which is in Pennsylvania.

    July 28, 2014

  • Korean War Korean War

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sloppy lawmaking is to blame

    July 27, 2014

  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo