We are just about wrapping up the first third of the 90-day Session.
I have introduced the bills: the first being HB 488, the “shall issue” bill, which will make it easier for law-abiding citizens in the state of Maryland to legally carry a sidearm for personal protection, bringing us in line with the majority of states in the union.
The second bill (HB 496) is Failure to Report Sexual Abuse of a Minor. Maryland is one of five states that have no regulations that require the reporting of such offensive crimes against minors.
We often see in these cases that while the sexual abuse has been going on over a long period of time, those who have knowledge of these acts have failed to report it, not only putting the victim at greater harm but also allowing others to be preyed upon. In cases like these, I feel failure to report the crime is nearly as bad as committing the acts.
And finally, a third bill (HB 495) which will bar sexual predators from voting at polling places. While it is my personal feeling felons should not be able to vote at all, unfortunately in the wisdom of the General Assembly, they are allowed not only to vote but to vote in person at their precincts.
This includes the sexual predators who have been banned by a court from going near elementary schools, churches and community halls. My polling place is a church where the kindergarten actually meets on the day of the elections. This is a dangerous situation for kids and hopefully the General Assembly will see the error in its judgment and pass this very reasonable law which will allow these offenders to vote only by absentee ballot.
And, as for the Gov. Martin O'Malley's agenda, I have yet to find anything in it to support. I am not supportive of any of the three different methods they have come up with to charge tax on gasoline; I am not in favor of the one cent increase on the sales tax; I am not in support of an internet tax; not in support of the septic tax; not in support of higher fees on automobile registration; not in support of the repeal of the mortgage interest deduction, and overall, not in support of the other numerous taxes and fees that the governor has proposed for the citizens of the state of Maryland.
Approximately five years ago, I introduced legislation to flat line the state budget—meaning no increases and no deductions. According to the state’s budget analyst, that would have brought the State 100 percent out of debt in five years.
If we enacted that same proposed legislation this year, it would take the State 30 years to get out of debt. The interest on the state’s debts are heading to the point where they are outpacing the spending by the state.
The only way to get this under control is for the state to live within its means and pay the debt down and get off the back of Maryland taxpayers and Maryland businesses and allow additional revenues to come in through a vibrant and expanded private sector economy.
Finally, it does appear that the pressure that the governor has put on the Democratic members of the General Assembly could backfire on him and hopefully, will do so, preventing him from taking the state into even greater debt.
Del. Rick Impallaria, a Republican, represents District 7, which includes parts of Baltimore and Harford counties.