Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

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
Opinion
  • Street flowers Street flowers

    Walk along Frostburg’s Main Street in the spring and summer and one can’t miss the beautiful floral arrangements that adorn the lampposts.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • President and Obamacare: Who needs Congress?

    Being a fellow from a small town like Cumberland I don’t always really understand what’s going on in Washington. But I have watched a few houses being built over the years. I even helped some with one house, but my brother fired me from that work pretty quickly, mainly because it was his house being built.

    April 22, 2014

  • Sweet Success Business Forum this evening in Frostburg

    As a member of the Frostburg Business and Professional Association (FBPA), I am pleased to inform the community of the “Sweet Success” event sponsored by the city of Frostburg and our organization.

    April 22, 2014

  • First base First base

    The idea of spending up to $7,500 for a study about the possibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area should at least be allowed to reach first base.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • You can help United Way reach its goal

    The United Way of Allegany County campaign for 2013-14 will end April 30 and to date has raised more than $430,000, which is over 86 percent of its goal. But there is still $70,000 to be raised in a very short time.

    April 21, 2014

  • Support Canal classrooms with tax-deductible gift

    While your April 17 article (“Park Service opens Canal classrooms,” Page 1A) described this exciting program accurately, your readers may be wondering how they can help support this new educational opportunity for school children in Allegany County.

    April 18, 2014

  • Ivan Hall story brings back memories of a unique man

    I enjoyed Mike Sawyers’ Ivan Hall story. It was well written and brought back some wonderful memories of my Cumberland days and especially, an unique man.

    April 18, 2014

  • It’s a secret It’s a secret

    Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
    A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • What do we do about those who weren’t criminals after all?

    Now that Maryland has become the 17th state to (finally) decriminalize possession of marijuana, one could say that the legislature and governor should be patted on the back for doing the right thing.

    April 17, 2014

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo