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Busch, Miller Urge Colleagues To Return $604.20

In a gesture of solidarity with soon-to-be-furloughed state employees, the presiding officers of the Maryland General Assembly have asked their members to give up a portion of their pay.

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) announced yesterday that most state employees would be required to take two to five unpaid days, depending on their salary level, to help relieve pressure on the state budget.

Under the Maryland Constitution, legislators cannot be forced to give up part of their pay during their term in office begins. So the requests from House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) are voluntary.

"We're asking all members of the General Assembly to step up and take the same furlough days as state employees," Busch, who announced his own intentions a few weeks ago, said in a joint news conference with Miller yesterday.

In a letter to his members, Miller "strongly" encourages his colleagues to give up the maximum five days of pay, which would translate into returning $604.20 to the state treasury. A form attached to the letter provides other options: one day at $120.84; two days at $241.68; three days at $362.52 or four days at $483.36.

"Given the severity of these economic times, I strongly believe it is both appropriate and fair for members of the General Assembly to accept a furlough consistent with the rest of state government," Miller wrote.

By John Wagner  |  December 17, 2008; 1:51 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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There is something more important than showing solidarity with state employees. That is showing solidarity with the men, women and children of Maryland and solidarity with the job providers who are thinking about where to locate.

The proposal is simple. There has never been a state to cut its sales tax. The biggest mistake O'Malley has made is to raise the sales tax by 20% because every man, woman, and child is discouraged every time they buy a paper, dogfood or a broiled chicken by this action.

So cut the state sales tax by 3 cents. Every job provider in the U.S. or outside the U.S. would take note and would consider locating in a business friendly state--Maryland.

We share a 85 mile border with Delaware which has no sales tax. The internet has no sales tax. It is a no-brainer to shop there instead of Maryland.

This idea of cutting legislative salaries is Blagojevich scheme not allowed by the constitution. The idea of giving every citizen a tax break every day is one that would get real results. We need some fresh ideas and new people in the state government. We need term limits too.

Posted by: robinfickerofrobinrealty | December 18, 2008 4:22 AM | Report abuse

Its nice to accept furloughs, but they should also accept a wage freeze and increased health care costs as state workers are being asked to. Workers need to stand up and fight against these proposals. The video below explains in more detail.

Posted by: AndyKujan | December 18, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Its nice to accept furloughs, but they should also accept a wage freeze and increased health care costs as state workers are being asked to.
Posted by: AndyKujan | December 18, 2008 3:15 PM
** the General Assembly has their pay and benefits reviewed every 4 yrs and do not get pay raises in between. The review will be in 2010 for the next 4 yrs. Bet the new commission will be all Democrats. The last commission was appointed by Gov. Ehrlich and the General Assembly received NO pay increase for 4 yrs. GO BOB!

Posted by: gwilson2 | December 19, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

I am so glad I moved out of Maryland in December 2007. When Erhlich became governor, he proposed slot machines in some race tracks but NOT in Ocean Downs. The republicans wanted to keep the Ocean City area a family vacation type area. But, the democrats said NO, NO, NO to his proposals. All of them. They pulled every trick in the book to take away Erhlich's powers as the elected governor to govern. Now, that they got rid of him, Maryland is totally in the doghouse with much higher sales tax, deficits in the BILLIONS, and they have now approved slots in ALL the race tracks including Ocean Downs! And there is not one Republican in power because of the idiotic MD constitution that does not allot equal number of Senators to each county. So, all power is OWNED by Baltimore, PG and Montgomery county - the rest of the state's counites be screwed!

Well, they are getting what they voted for: Super high taxes, un-business friendly, union friendly, speeding cameras popping up everywhere BIG BROTHER! YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL! I am glad to be out of that big mess! God Bless Virginia where there are no red light cameras, speeding cameras, lower income tax and 4% sales tax!

Any big spending liberals considering moving here, please change your voting record before doing so.

Posted by: GeekTracker | December 19, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

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