On Maryland lawmakers’ to-do list: Gas taxes, gun control

Feds’ ‘fiscal cliff’ 
casts shadow on 
budget planning

continued from page 1

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

“There will be another effort to repeal the death penalty,” Mr. Frosh said. “The members of the Senate have changed since the last time there was a vote.”

He said this new composition of delegates and senators could potentially tip the historically balanced scale towards a successful repeal.

Mr. Frosh is one of the legislators who has said he will propose new gun laws in the wake of the killings in Connecticut.

He also said members of the Judicial Proceedings Committee “have some unfinished business,” relating to another controversial issue: pit bulls.

A Maryland Court of Appeals ruling earlier this year that said purebred pit bulls are “inherently dangerous” and that decided property owners also are liable for incidents related to pit bulls, has left the legislature searching for ways to respond.

Ms. Dumais said that because the effort to nail down legislation regarding pit-bull owner liability during a special session in August failed, it is bound to resurface in January.

“Obviously, during the special session, we tried to do something,” Ms. Dumais said. “The House and the Senate have two very different ideas [of what] should be done.”

The Maryland Dream Act, Question 4, which authorizes in-state college-tuition rates for some illegal-immigrant students; Question 6, which legalized same-sex marriage in Maryland; and Question 7, which approved casino expansion, were all passed as a result of the past two legislative sessions, but, Mr. Fry said social issues will not be as predominant in 2013.

“Most of the legislators are hoping that this is a much quieter year than last year,” Mr. Fry said. “They’ve gone through a very tough legislative session last year, as well as a number of special sessions. … They would hope that this is not going to have the same level of volatility.”

Other issues to watch for include offshore wind energy, the budget and the implementation of federal health care reform, as well as potential legislation promoting transgender equality.

However, House Minority Leader Anthony J. O’Donnell said that regardless of what shows up on the 2013 legislative agenda, fiscal stability is the most important issue.

“The reality is, that going into the seventh year of the O’Malley administration, we have failed to put our fiscal house in order in the state, and we have not prepared for the looming fiscal problems,” said Mr. O’Donnell, Calvert Republican.

“Our focus should be solely on creating an environment of free enterprise and job creation,” Mr. O’Donnell said. “That is more than enough to focus on. That should be our first, foremost and only focus in the upcoming session.”

blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • The District of Columbia has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

    D.C. police quietly prepping for change in law on marijuana

  • D.C. Council member and mayoral candidate David Catania, at large independent, said that although he had some concerns with the city's fiscal 2015 budget, namely the 'yoga tax,' he said issues could be addressed in next year's budget discussions. (Associated Press)

    Council overrides mayor’s veto of fiscal 2015 budget

  • 3 killed, 4 wounded Sunday in three D.C. shootings

  • D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser, one of seven Democrats trying to unseat the incumbent District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray in next week's primary, campaigns on Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, Thursday, March 27, 2014. Loyalists are rallying around the mayor, and few are writing him off. But his troubles have provided an opening for one of his challengers, and D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser appears to be taking advantage. Two polls released a week before the primary showed Bowser in a statistical tie with Gray.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    Crime hits close to home for D.C. mayoral candidate

  • Gray

    D.C. Council to vote on Gray’s budget veto