Members Making News February 17th-23rd

A collection of media coverage of our Caucus members this week.

 

 

  • After the Kirwan Commission released their preliminary report that offered recommendations for improving schools in Maryland, but without any suggestions of how to solve the state’s current funding formula, Delegate Haven Shoemaker expressed his dissapoint over the commission’s inability to address the funding formula that could help Carroll County schools. Speaking of how the commission poorly used their time to produce the report, Delegate Shoemaker said, “Government seems to do that a lot…Equally concerning is that very little time has been devoted to fixing the funding formula currently in place in Maryland which shortchanges Carroll County because we’ve had declining enrollment, but we’re considered rich. This needs to be fixed pronto.” To read more about this issue, click here to be redirected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Members Making News February 10th-16th

A collection of media coverage of our Caucus members this week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • To watch a video of Delegate Rick Impallaria discuss how his bill, HB 760, will help make schools a safer place by allowing certain school employees to carry firearms on school grounds, please click here to be redirected to this video and article.

 

 

 

House Republicans Issue Statement on the Failure of Paid Sick Leave Delay

18565931 – a stamp with text “rejected”. white background.

House Minority Leader Nic Kipke and House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga issued the following statement regarding the failure of legislation that would delay the implementation of Paid Sick Leave. Senate Bill 304 – Maryland Healthy Working Families Act – Delay of Effective Date would have delayed the implementation until July 1, giving businesses time to navigate the complex and confusing policy passed when the legislature overrode Governor Hogan’s veto in January. The legislation was killed in the Economic Matters Committee earlier today, with a vote of 12-11.
“While it comes as no surprise this bill was voted down, it is still very frustrating,” said House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga. “There was no will to move this bill in the House, where political gain seems more important than doing the right thing for the job-creating businesses in our state.”

“I am very disappointed this bill did not move forward,” said House Minority Leader Nic Kipke. “But, there is still time and opportunity for the General Assembly to provide paid leave to workers without clobbering small businesses over the head. Governor Hogan’s Paid Leave Compromise Act is still on the table. I hope my colleagues will give this compromise the serious consideration it deserves and do what is best for the businesses in Maryland and the hard-working citizens they employ.”

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House Minority Leadership Issues Statement on Rain Tax Vote

Raining taxesAnnapolis – In a late voting session on Friday, the House Environment and Transportation voted down Governor Hogan’s legislation to repeal the Storm Water Management Fee, commonly known as the Rain Tax.  The committee voted strictly along party lines. All Republicans supported the repeal, and Democrats voted against repealing the Rain Tax.

House Minority Leader Nic Kipke and Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga released the following statement in response to the committee’s vote:

“It is disappointing that, on a party-line vote, the majority of members on the Environment and Transportation Committee decided to ignore the will of the citizens of the Maryland. The Rain Tax is loathed by our citizens. But, this fight is far from over. There are several other bills that repeal Maryland’s Rain Tax, including one sponsored by Senate President Miller, that are still moving through the legislative process. It does not matter to us who gets the ‘credit’ for this bill, as long as Maryland’s citizens are freed from this unnecessary tax on rain.”

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UPDATE: The Committee Roll-Call Vote is available here.

O’Malley/Brown Administration Gets Dizzy Spinning Jobs Numbers

It appears that the O’Malley/Brown Administration got a little dizzy while spinning the rather dismal July jobs report. Given that Maryland lost nearly 10,000 jobs last month, that’s understandable. It takes a lot of spin to try to turn that kind of job loss into anything positive.

In July, Maryland had the third worst job numbers in the country, and unemployment increased from 7% to 7.1%, while US unemployment “edged down.”

Governor O’Malley said in a statement that while the job numbers were disappointing, Maryland demonstrates “tremendous economic strength”.  He said that Maryland’s unemployment rate, while high, “remains four percent below the national average”. The Governor went on to mention, as he is wont to do, Maryland’s Triple A bond rating  – as if that’s related to jobs.

Let’s take a moment to peel back the layers of the O’Malley/Brown Administration’s self-serving rhetoric. The Unemployment Rate for the United States in July 2013 is 7.4%. Maryland’s unemployment rate rose to 7.1%. That is a 0.3% difference not a 4% difference as the Governor claims. Perhaps it is just more O’Malley/Brown Math, like their claims to have cut the budget as they have increased state spending by more than $7 billion.  They also failed to mention that the last three jobs reports have been bad for Maryland.

It is the worst kind of arrogance to tell people who have lost their jobs and families who are fighting to keep the wolves from the door that they should take comfort in the knowledge that their state has a great Triple A bond rating. What about the gas tax increase, sales tax increase, toll increases and fee increases that take money out of every family’s pocket in Maryland?  The time has long past for the O’Malley/Brown Administration to abandon the “Let Them Eat Cake” policy that has guided them, and yet they continue to repeat this nonsense while praising their progressive utopia.

Maryland’s alleged “economic strength” is as nonsensical as the rest of the drivel coming from the O’Malley/Brown Administration. If you really want to look at a state that can boast that title, you need only look across the Potomac to Virginia. Virginia is just as vulnerable to sequestration as Maryland is – if not more so. But if you compare the job numbers, you see two very different stories. Maryland’s July Unemployment rate was 7.1%, Virginia’s was 5.7%. Maryland lost 4,900 private sector jobs in July, while Virginia gained 4,100. According to the Tax Foundation, Maryland has lost more than 66,000 taxpayers between 2000 and 2010, with a loss of more than $5.5 billion in taxable income. On the other hand, Virginia gained nearly 129,000 new residents and an additional $1.1 billion in taxable income over that same time period (and before sequestration).

The reality of the situation is that the O’Malley/Brown Administration has been on a tax-and-spend frenzy since they were sworn into office in 2007. They blew through a surplus, increased taxes, tolls, and fees over 70 times and did NOTHING to soften the blow of the federal cutbacks that everyone knew were on the horizon. The havoc that the O’Malley/Brown policies will wreak on Maryland will be felt long after Governor O’Malley marches off to his next big gig. The sad part is that if the Governor had spent more time doing his job rather than running for his next job, the status of Maryland’s jobs would not be so bleak.

The House Republican Caucus realizes that tax relief is needed now if Maryland is to recover its strength and be a state where citizens can grow up, attend college, start businesses, raise families and retire without an ever-present hand in their wallets. Our Caucus is planning a significant tax relief package that will be introduced in advance of the 2014 Legislative Session. We will be sharing more details in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, citizens are encouraged to connect with us at www.houserepublicancaucus.com and www.facebook.com/mdhousegop to share their ideas and experience.

Del. Nicholaus Kipke
House Minority Leader

Del. Kathy Szeliga
House Minority Whip

House Republican Caucus Issues Statement on Pipkin Resignation

The House Republican Caucus issued the following statement on the resignation of Senator E.J. Pipkin:

“The House Republican Caucus thanks Senator Pipkin for his dedicated service and advocacy for Maryland’s taxpayers. He has been a tremendous leader in the General Assembly and strong Republican partner in fighting the O’Malley/Brown Administration’s tax and spend agenda.

He will be sorely missed and we wish he and his family all the best in their new endeavors.”

A Message from House Minority Leader Nic Kipke & House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga

After careful consideration and discussion with the members of the House Republican Caucus, we are pleased to announce the following appointments to our leadership team:

Assistant Minority Leader:     Delegate Michael Hough

Assistant Minority Whip:        Delegate Sue Aumann

Caucus Chairman:                Delegate Jay Jacobs

Chief Deputy Whip:               Delegate Justin Ready

 Deputy Whips:                     Delegate Gail Bates

                                              Delegate Steve Hershey

                                              Delegate Charles Otto

                                              Delegate Susan Krebs

                                              Delegate John Cluster

                                              Delegate Kathy Afzali

 Ranking Members:               Delegate Tony McConkey, Appropriations

                                               Delegate Kelly Schulz, Economic Matters

                                               Delegate Wayne Norman, Environmental Matters

                                               Delegate Justin Ready, Health & Government Operations

                                               Delegate Mike McDermott, Judiciary

                                               Delegate LeRoy Myers, Ways & Means

 Parliamentarian:                    Delegate Wayne Norman

Our leadership team is a great mix of seasoned legislators with a wealth of institutional memory as well as newer members with a fresh perspective. They represent a wide variety of constituents from the agricultural and rural areas of the Eastern Shore and Western Maryland, to the more urban areas of Central Maryland and many places in between. This team is ready to beat back the failed tax and spend policies that have plagued Maryland for far too long. We are honored to have the opportunity to serve with them.