Posts Tagged 'General Assembly'

Maryland Legislative Session begins today; Maryland Library Legislative Day scheduled

The legislative session for the General Assembly begins today in Annapolis. Legislators will be faced with a number of issues, as well as the challenge of passing a balanced budget. If you still are not sure which legislators represent you, you can find out by entering your address on Capwiz or by using the Who Are My Elected Officials? web site.

Each year during the legislative session, the Maryland Library community organizes and participates in Maryland Library Legislative Day. The day is a concentrated advocacy effort, including visits with legislators in Annapolis and virtual advocacy using Capwiz. This annual event is scheduled for Wednesday, February 13th. For information about last year’s event, visit the Legislative Panel blog post.

Legislators return to Annapolis

The 90-day legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly began last Wednesday, January 12th.  So far, there has been no action related to library issues.  For a summary of opening day, see the Gazette article.

Elected officials forecast budget challenges and possible solutions

At the Maryland Association of Counties (MACO) Conference, Governor O’Malley, Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch are talking with local elected officials about the challenges facing them as they wrestle with the state budget and a projected $1.6 billion shortfall.

O’Malley has promised not to pass along any teacher pension costs this year, adding that the pension system must be changed first.  However, the General Assembly could still decide to shift some of the costs.  Miller and Busch also warned that the budget will very likely include a reduction in local aid.  Local officials are concerned with the impact and that tax payers will suffer.  For more information, check out the following articles:

Pension bills introduced in General Assembly

Two bills have been filed in the Maryland General Assembly dealing with pensions.

  • SB 959 – Senator Miller has filed the same bill as last year.  This bill would push a portion of the teacher pensions back on the counties.
  • HB 1374 – This bill would allow state employees to voluntarily leave the state pension system for a joint contribution system modeled after private industry.

Both bills are unlikely to make progress this year because it is an election year.  The counties and the school systems, as well as libraries, are monitoring these bills closely.

For more details, including the text of the bills, search for the bill number on the Maryland General Assembly’s web site.

Legislative Preview – State legislative session will be tough

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. and House Speaker Michael Busch hosted a legislative preview in Annapolis on Tuesday evening.  They reported that state revenues are expected to fall again in the next fiscal year, which will create quite a challenge for the state legislators who must develop a balanced budget.  They indicated that additional budget cuts will be necessary, including to education.  For a more detailed account of the preview, read this article from the Capital News Service.

Past Posts

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