Recap - The 2015 Legislative Session of the Maryland General Assembly

Posted Date: 
April 17, 2015

Guest Speakers: Montgomery County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly Leadership: Senator Nancy King (D39) and Delegate Shane Robinson (D39)
Topic:  The 2015 Legislative Session of the Maryland General Assembly

April 17, 2015 Recap                              

Vice-Chair of the Legislative Affairs Committee, Tom McElroy welcomed MCCC members and introduced the guest speakers Senator Nancy King (D39) and Delegate Shane Robinson (D39) to provide a review of the 2015 General Assembly Legislative Session.   They are the chairs of the Montgomery County Delegation.

Senator King began by highlighting some of the successes of the session, including big wins in capital spending for Montgomery County institutions like Strathmore and Cornerstone Montgomery.

In her opinion, the session went well with legislators working well together. The make up of the Senate is a good mix. They were able to craft a reasonable budget that passed unanimously in the Senate.

The Governor had his legislative priorities which included charter schools and military retirement.  Some of those differences have not yet been reconciled.  The General Assembly was able to ‘fence off’ resources for their priorities including education and health care.

One issue up in the air is the Geographic Cost of Education Index. This is a discretionary item but will be mandatory in future years. It helps some of the state’s most populous counties deal with the rising cost of education.

One improvement over years past was the cohesiveness among the branches of government that represent Montgomery County. Disagreements were worked out privately so Montgomery County could present a unified front. This is important as the perception is that there is a lot of internal struggles.

Senator King and Delegate Robinson touched on the pension fund, Purple Line, Motor Fuel Tax, R&D tax credit.  The bills introduced from the Augustine Commission show that the mind set toward business is changing.

Many of the priorities of Montgomery County are introduced in the winter before the session begins at the Priorities Hearing.  It is important to drill down on these priorities to better understand them and Senator King and Delegate Robinson indicated an interest in continuing to do this.

Overall, they stressed keeping in mind the big picture as they consider specific pieces of legislation and addressing the structural deficit by reducing it without adding taxes and fees.

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