Dec. 22, 2011
Sen. George Edwards and Del. Wendell Beitzel held their annual prelegislative forum on Saturday morning at Garrett College. More than 100 people attended the event, with about a dozen of them expressing their thoughts about the upcoming General Assembly session, scheduled to begin on Jan. 11, 2012, in Annapolis.
“We’re dealing with some tough economic times, and that’s having an impact on everything we do – not only legislatively but in our lives,” Betizel said.
He indicated that the state’s $1 billion structural budget deficit will once again have a major impact on programs and funding mechanisms that come through the county.
Edwards noted the state legislature works on a committee system. Bills that receive favorable reports from their assigned committees will most likely be approved by the House and Senate, while those deemed unfavorable are rarely approved. The senator stressed, therefore, that residents express their concerns about proposed legislation to the committees.
“You’ve got to work the committees,” Edwards said about making an impact on bill passage/rejection.
The senator indicated he and Beitzel needed that help in “battling” for or against certain issues, such as the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fee. He noted that some legislators want to double, triple, or even quadruple the “flush” fee, increasing it from $30 to possibly $120.
President/CEO Nicole Christian, Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, asked the local lawmakers to support tourism statewide, increase the state’s travel marketing budget, expedite the Marcellus Shale Committee’s study, restore/protect Highway User Fund allocations, oppose gas tax increases, rally support for the Deep Creek 2014 Canoe Slalom World Championships, and introduce legislation that would start the public school year after Labor Day.
“The state of Maryland needs to look at all opportunities for growing the critically important segment of tourism, and that’s critically important to our economy,” Christian said. “One opportunity is for Maryland to establish a summer school break that lasts through the month of August.”
Buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland? Call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! I take great pride in referrals, and I assure you, I will take great care of your friends, family & colleagues!
877-563-5350 – toll free