Special Session Round-Up for Friday
Here is a selection of news and links from around the web that supplement The Post's coverage of the Maryland special session as of Friday, Nov. 2.
Frederick County Commissioners President Jan Gardner testified yesterday in favor of the governors' tax hike proposal, saying that O'Malley's plan is "fair" because it doesn't place the further tax burden on low and middle income families reports the Frederick News-Post... Maryland State Sen. E.J. Pipkin writes a letter to Marylanders, published in the Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel, publicly declaring his opposition for gas tax increases. Pipkin wrote that "it is downright cruel...to propose gas tax increases based on any inflationary factor"... A $1-per-pack increase in the tobacco tax could lead to the loss of jobs and $379 million in lost sales of tobacco products, reported the Washington Business Journal... For the slots referendum to be placed on the November 2008 ballot 29 Senate democrats and 85 House democrats have to support the referendum, reads an article in the Annapolis Capital. "If the legislators choose to begin pulling out components ... [the plan] could collapse as a house of cards," said Republican Del. Steve Schuh. O'Malley "will either have the greatest political victory of his career or one of his greatest setbacks"... Senate Minority Leader David Brinkley argued Thursday that an increased tobacco tax won't prevent Fredrick County residents from smoking, reports The Frederick News-Post... A Washington Times editorial discusses the question of whether illegal immigrants will benefit from O'Malley's revamped health care program. "Illegal aliens could use O'Malley-Care to obtain health insurance through identity fraud," the paper writes... Dan Furmansky, executive director of Equality Maryland, said the special session will determine how much lawmakers pay attention to gay issues in the general session in January. "It will be incredibly problematic for any substantive issue to get the attention it deserves if this revenue package isn't sorted out," he told the Washington Blade... State Department of Natural Resources Secretary John R. Griffin said, "The cost of delaying budget solutions would be devastating to Maryland's environment." Eight state parks, including The Pocomoke River Park, will be closed if lawmakers don't find an alternative to make up for the budget shortfall, reports the Maryland Coast Dispatch... Finally, a letter to the editors of the Cumberland Times-News outlines 15 things the governor "plans to do -- behind closed doors."
From The Post, Some Maryland lawmakers wonder if O'Malley's bill goes too far by routing licenses to "preordained locations," writes John Wagner... Lawmakers haven't reached a consensus on O'Malley's plan, according to a story by Philip Rucker and Ovetta Wiggins... Supporters and opponents of slot-machine gambling staged dueling rallies this morning in Annapolis, reports Rucker.
If you've seen something you'd like to add, post a summary and link below.
-- Compiled by Jamisha Purdy
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