Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

April 14, 2013

2013 legislative session a disaster for Maryland

This legislative session in Annapolis has been the worst for Marylanders in recent memory, certainly the worst of my 11 sessions.

We have been pushed far to the left by Gov. O’Malley, who is more concerned with winning the 2016 Democratic primary and scoring political points than governing our state.  

The biggest issue was gun control legislation (SB281), one of the most hostile in the nation toward gun owners. This violates our liberty and places an extreme burden on citizens’ guaranteed rights.

Republicans in Annapolis and across the country faced fierce criticism and were viciously attacked when we proposed a bill that would require ID to vote. Imagine the outrage that would have ensued if we had proposed requiring fingerprinting to vote.

 Imagine the outrage that would rightfully occur if we made people take a four-hour course on “civility in speech” before granting freedom of speech.

Since it is second amendment, and not another that is under attack, Democrats could care less because it is a constitutional right they seem to disagree with.

To buy a handgun in the future you must be fingerprinted, pay for a background check and take (and pay) for a four-hour safety course.  

We made common sense changes to the bill such as exempting all law enforcement officers and all active duty military personnel over 21. All current guns and guns purchased by Oct. 1 are exempt.

 I am proud to have voted against this bill with every other Delegate from Western Maryland. I received hundreds of calls to my office from residents of Allegany and Washington counties and not one supported this bill.

 The gas tax (HB1515) is to nearly double from 23 cents per gallon to 44.5 cents per gallon by 2017. When you fill up your 20-gallon tank you will be paying $12 in state and federal gas taxes. This is the last thing we need.

 Democrats previously resisted efforts for a Transportation Trust Fund “lock-box” which would have stopped O’Malley from raiding over $1 billion dollars from transportation. This year they created a lock-box of their own (SB829), but they hold the key. Money can be taken out with a three-fifth majority vote, which Democrats can easily do.

An additional charge on all Maryland electric bills will begin in 2018. We subsidize a massive off-shore wind project costing ratepayers of $112 million a year. This form of energy is more than twice as expensive as conventional forms of energy and the project is expected to lose more than $1.4 billion over its 20-year life.

 SB 715 authorizes the MVA to issue drivers licenses and identification cards to illegal immigrants. They could not be used for federal purpose such as purchasing a firearm, boarding a flight, or entering a federal building. I opposed it because there is no way to reliably verify an applicant’s identity, multiple licenses could be issued to the same person.

Maryland is the only state on the East Coast to issue licenses to illegal immigrants and becomes a gateway for those seeking to obtain ID for questionable purposes.

The two-tiered ID system downgrades all Maryland-issued drivers licenses and IDs and makes Maryland non-compliant with the Federal REAL ID Act. When it goes into effect, no Maryland-issued ID may be used for federal purposes, including boarding a plane or entering a federal building.

Our amendments to require fingerprinting of illegal immigrants who were issued an ID and make the second-tier ID a different color were soundly rejected.

 Thank you for your continued support. I am lucky to have constituents who understand how bad this governor has been for Maryland. Now we need the rest of Maryland to figure that out.

 Delegate LeRoy Myers

District 1-C Allegany/Washington counties

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