Recap: Legislative Affairs Member Meeting - Senator Raskin and Delegate Kaiser - November 15, 2013

Posted Date: 
November 15, 2013

November 15, 2013
Guest Speakers: Senator Jamie Raskin and Delegate Anne Kaiser

Legislative Affairs Committee Co-Chair, Josh Bokee, welcomed MCCC members and the guest speakers. Senator Jamie Raskin is the Majority Whip. He represents District 20 and chairs the Montgomery County Senate Delegation. Delegate Anne Kaiser is the Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus. She represents District 14 and chairs the Montgomery County House Delegation. Raskin and Kaiser gave a forecast of the 2014 Maryland Legislative Session.

Raskin described the upcoming session as a “watershed period.” He said we have tackled a lot of the issues that have dominated our attention for years, including: transportation funding, marriage equality, the Dream Act, and the repeal of the death penalty. Raskin and Kaiser thanked the Chamber for their help in advocating for transportation funding. Raskin talked about a new focus on issues that impact our prosperity moving forward.

Looking forward to the 2014 session, Raskin expects there will be discussion about creating a School Financing Plan to solve the crisis of school overcrowding and construction. Some schools are operating at 115% of capacity and there is an increase in the number of students who receive free and reduced lunches.

Delegate Kaiser remarked on the need for persistence in the legislative process. Kaiser believes minimum wage will be a topic of discussion in this year’s session. In the past, this has been linked to a reduction in the corporate income tax rate which may not hold true this year.  This sparked a discussion about Maryland’s tax structure. Gigi Godwin said “not all taxes are created equal.” Delegate Kathleen Dumais will reintroduce a bill this year that proposes to create a commission to review the tax structure. Godwin said personal income tax is a problem, especially in Montgomery County with the additional piggy back tax.

They both said they expect to see local legislation focused on creating a night time economy in Montgomery County, specifically related to alcohol regulations, that stem from the County Executive’s Task Force recommendations.

Kaiser and Raskin invited everyone to contact them directly with recommendations and to take advantage of public hearings, the first of which will be on November 20 at the Executive Office Building in Rockville. Visit www.montgomerycountydelegation.com for the dates of upcoming hearings and contact information for members of the Montgomery County Delegation.

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