Another legislative wrap-up (or two)

Here are a couple items as we await the determination whether there will be a special session for the General Assembly.

First I have a legislative wrapup from a pair of Baltimore County Delegates, Susan Aumann and Kathy Szeliga. Take your pick; they are essentially the same. I find it interesting how the two have pooled their efforts, which I suppose makes sense since their constituencies are relatively similar.

This leads me to note that I’ll have the final chapter of the McDermott notes in the next few days. Whether he will be as breezy as the duo of ladies seemed to be remains to be seen, but I’m sure he was frustrated by the overall tone of the session and most of the outcomes.

And then there was the assertion, repeated by Annie Linskey at the Sun, that the budget is not balanced. Yet it seems to me we’ve made a number of midcourse corrections in the past when revenues weren’t as expected, so the only difference is that in this case the cuts have to be made by July 1st, when fiscal 2013 begins. Meanwhile, now that the $218 million Maryland Mega Millions jackpot has been claimed the state already has a little bit of unexpected revenue. Somehow the money is always found.

Meanwhile, from the perspective of the pro-business advocacy group Maryland Business for Responsive Government, the “doomsday” budget is misnamed:

“Ironically, the Governor and legislature could have called the doomsday budget a ‘new day’ budget, declared victory and gone home,” said (MBRG President Kimberly) Burns.  “But it was never intended to be taken seriously, and there will now be a mad scramble to continue government spending at record levels as a special session looms on the horizon.”

When spending is up hundreds of millions of dollars (instead of over a billion, as Governor O’Malley would have liked) the fight over semantics is fairly meaningless, and the ‘doomsday’ is more like the day of reckoning when state taxpayers have their last dimes shaken from them. What really matters is the fact the state is spending more money than it did in fiscal 2012 and it has to come from somewhere.

But I can say that one local business is thriving, and perhaps that’s in some small part due to the patronage of my readers. I’m pleased to announce that the Robinson Family of Business has extended their sponsorship of my enterprise! So look for their advertisement atop the website for awhile longer – if you’d like to join them and my other sponsors, the details are here.