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General Assembly Notes: Is Annapolis 'Clobbering' Montgomery County Taxpayers?

What's going on in Annapolis that affects Montgomery County?

'Tis the season, when dozens of legislators from Montgomery County file into Annapolis to create and pass (or shut down) a bevy of new laws that may or may not change our daily lives. The Maryland General Assembly convened Jan. 9, 2013 and it won't adjourn until April. Since you can't be there, keeping an eye on lawmakers from your town, we'll be rounding up some of their more important deeds each week. 

Here's what our local legislators did recently:

Takoma Park Delegate Heather Mizeur, a Democrat who everyone says is running for governor next year, is doing something that only a person interested in state office would do—leave her district to give a speech. She's talking to the Queen Anne's County Democratic Club next month about "major issues" in the legislature this year. (Star-Democrat) 

If you aren't already speeding on the Intercounty Connector (the road made headlines last year for the plentiful violations police officers issued), you may soon be able to legally go up to 70 mph. A House bill co-sponsored by Del. Aruna Miller (D-Dist. 15), of Darnestown, would raise the maximum speed limit on interstates and expressways statewide from 65 to 70 mph and automatically increase the ICC's speed limit from 55 to 70. (Patch) 

Sens. Richard Madaleno (D-Dist 18) and Jamie Raskin (D-Dist 20), both of Montgomery County, introduced a gender-identity nondiscrimation bill that would protect transgender people from housing, workplace and other forms of discrimination. (MetroWeekly) 

So, he's not a state legislator, but County Councilmember Phil Andrews (D-Dist 3) gave a scathing assessment of lawmakers in an op-ed written for the Washington Post. He said Montgomery County doesn't get back enough money from the state for our tax contributions; scoffs at the recent decision to make counties pay for a portion of teacher pensions, and says taxpayers were "robbed" by the Maryland Transit Authority.

An excerpt:

Gov. Martin O’Malley and the General Assembly are clobbering Montgomery County. It’s time for the county’s leaders to push back hard...If Montgomery’s state senators and delegates don’t stand up for the county as a united delegation, Annapolis will continue to treat Montgomery’s taxpayers as doormats.

Read the entire letter here

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