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Busch session priorities include gang legislation

Busch photo.jpgThe budget, job creation -- and gangs.

Two days before the start of the Maryland General Assembly's 427th session, House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) listed those three issues as priorities in an e-mail to constituents Monday.

With the state facing a $2 billion shortfall next year and politicians everywhere talking about jobs, the first two issues are likely to be included in mailings by every member of the General Assembly in coming weeks and months. The third -- gangs -- has become a pet issue for Busch, who would like police to share intelligence on suspected student gang members with teachers and school administrators.

"Currently, there is recorded gang activity in every county in the state of Maryland and studies show that the average recruitment age is between 12 and 14 years old," Busch says in the e-mail, which was distributed by the Maryland Democratic Party. "New legislation will focus on reducing communication barriers to better enable our schools to be safe havens for students, as well as strengthening the current criminal gang statute to prosecute criminal gang offenders."

Busch's e-mail also gives prominent mention to a tax credit that Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has proposed making available to businesses that hire unemployed workers. Companies would get a $3,000 credit for each worker they hire in the coming year.

The complete text of Busch's e-mail is below.

January 13th is the start of the 427th session of the Maryland General Assembly. Throughout the global economic recession, we have worked closely with Governor O'Malley and the Senate to protect the priorities that keep Maryland strong: the nation's best education system, a robust system of universities and community colleges, and stronger laws to keep our families safe.

As we begin the legislative session, I want to highlight just a few of the important issues that we will be working on this session:

Budget - In light of the global recession, the State's budget will continue to be a priority this year. Last month, a legislative committee encouraged the Governor to craft a budget with zero growth for the coming year, which will mean continued cuts in State spending. The legislature will have to make difficult decisions to balance the budget during the 2010 session, while protecting our core priorities of education and public safety. We have made $4.6 billion in cuts to State government over the past three years, bringing spending down below 2007 levels.

Job Creation - The legislature will continue to work closely with the Governor to put people back to work. Although Maryland continues to have an unemployment rate below the national average, we need to get people back into the workplace. The State will continue to have a healthy capital budget in order to generate jobs in the construction sector. A top priority for the legislature will be to continue to make higher education, community college programs and workforce training opportunities accessible and affordable. The legislature will also consider a Job Creation & Recovery Tax Credit, which could provide a $3,000 tax credit for every unemployed worker that a business hires and a loan guaranty program for small businesses.

Gangs - Earlier this fall, I hosted a series of meetings to craft legislation that would allow school systems and law enforcement to share information regarding criminal gang activity in schools. Currently, there is recorded gang activity in every county in the state of Maryland and studies show that the average recruitment age is between 12 and 14 years old. New legislation will focus on reducing communication barriers to better enable our schools to be safe havens for students, as well as strengthening the current criminal gang statute to prosecute criminal gang offenders.

Each year, over 2,000 bills are debated by the State legislature, including legislation to improve the environment, health care, education and other important issues. As always, I encourage you to engage in the process by contacting your elected official or visiting the State capital. For more information regarding specific legislation or to see a schedule of hearings, please visit http://mlis.state.md.us/.

Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have concerns or questions. Your voice is important to us. I can be reached at (410) 841-3800 or by email at michael.busch@house.state.md.us. Thank you for your continued support of our great State and best of luck in 2010.

Sincerely,

Michael E. Busch
Speaker of the House

Paid for by Maryland Democratic Party and not authorized by any federal candidate or candidate's committee. By authority of Ngoc Chu, Treasurer.

By John Wagner  |  January 11, 2010; 3:57 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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Comments

It'/s all so wonderful that the state wants to give subsidies to businesses that create jobs, however, here's the rub. How does this tax credit create clients, customers, or increase sales? If you don't have more clients, customers, or sales, what good does it do to hire more people, no matter what the government subsidy is?

Posted by: VikingRider | January 11, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

It'/s all so wonderful that the state wants to give subsidies to businesses that create jobs, however, here's the rub. How does this tax credit create clients, customers, or increase sales? If you don't have more clients, customers, or sales, what good does it do to hire more people, no matter what the government subsidy is?

Posted by: VikingRider | January 11, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

The post repeats this pack of lies without questioning Bush. Spending levels below 2007 where did that come from? They increased the budget in face of a crisis we all knew was coming by 12% last year!

They want to create jobs how about making Maryland friendly to business instead of taxing them to death?

Gangs what a joke. These are the same idiots that promote illegal aliens to come to our state and suck off the taxpayers or prey upon them in gangs. Stop funding La Raza and Casa De Maryland, enforce the laws and kick these people out if you truly want to stop gangs.

Posted by: Pilot1 | January 11, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Why is a state phone number and state e-mail address on an e-mail sent out by the Maryland Democratic Party? Isn't that against the rules?

Posted by: h20andoil | January 11, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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