August 21, 2023
Ever since I started in politics, I always found it easier to talk about issues, problems, solutions, legislation, and public policy, rather than talking about myself. It has always felt uncomfortable and self-serving to do so, and I never wanted to be the politician who always talked about their resume and gave self-promoting, boring anecdotal stories about their humble beginnings.
So know that writing this email about my health situation is challenging for me.
A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with a rare form (less than a thousand cases per year) of thyroid cancer.
This news shocked me as I am only 50 years old. I feel like I'm in great shape, have no family history of this type of cancer, and have zero symptoms. This type of cancer isn't caused by the environment or personal lifestyle choices; as my doctor said, it's caused by bad luck. Given the circumstances, I feel incredibly fortunate the doctors found this as early as they did.
The only treatment for this type of cancer is surgery, which I have had.
As I write this, I am at home and recovering well, and the good news is my doctors are confident the surgery was a success, and I look forward to making a full recovery.
I originally wanted to keep this a private matter, but unfortunately, the surgery was more intense and invasive than I initially expected.
So I will do something I've never done in my entire life.
I will follow the doctor's orders and take a few weeks off. I am canceling all public appearances for the next few weeks.
Unfortunately, this comes at a bad time because I must reschedule our big fundraiser at Bowles Farm for September 7th.
If you have already purchased tickets and sponsorship, thank you. I like my job and, of course, need to host a fundraiser this year. Ideally, I would like to apply those tickets and sponsorships already sold to a fundraiser I will host later this year. My goal would be to host it around the Christmas timeframe. However, if you would like a refund, reply to this email, and I will ensure you are refunded.
Still, even though I am off for a few weeks, my office is open. If you need any constituent services, my staff does a fantastic job, so if you have an issue you think I can help with, please don't hesitate to email us at: [email protected]
Thank you for your understanding and patience. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Again, I look forward to seeing everyone at the rescheduled fundraiser soon.
Finally, please pray for my wife, Kathy. The last few weeks have been stressful, and she has done a great job caring for me even though I am a terrible patient.
Thank you all again for your love and support.
NO TAX INCREASES, PROMISE
July 21, 2023
Remember a few years ago when Maryland had budget surpluses? In January, Governor Wes Moore and lawmakers came to Annapolis with a historic $5.5 billion budget reserve.
News that those days are over does not surprise me one bit!
This past March, when we were in the middle of the legislative session, the Comptroller's Office announced we had a nearly $500- million dollar write down. It doesn't take an economic genius to figure out that the economy was slowing down and that State Government would have to tighten its financial belt just like many families across our state have done. Unfortunately, I was one of only a handful of Republicans and the only one in the St. Mary's Delegation to vote against Governor Moore's bloated Budget. Go figure.....
Next year's fiscal Budget is expected to have a deficit of $418- million. However, the more significant concern is the Democrats' promise to the teacher's union of future spending that could amount to billions of dollars.
I have said before that every dollar the government spends is a dollar it must take from citizens. Maryland does not have a revenue problem, but it certainly has a spending problem. Given the promises made by the Governor and the Legislature's history of spending money, it seems unlikely that spending will be cut.
Excess government spending presents a genuine concern that tax increases are imminent. I assure you that I will remain consistent in my words and actions, unlike many politicians, including those in my party, who say one thing during campaigning and then act differently once elected.
Let me reiterate my campaign promises!
I will NOT vote to raise taxes, period.
I will not vote for a tax increase for any reason or situation.
If there is a push for any revenue-generating gimmick or new and increased taxes, rest assured I will let you know.
TWO NEW LAWS JULY 1ST
June 30, 2023
I want to bring several significant laws that go into effect on July 1st to your attention. I mentioned the gas tax increase in a previous email yesterday and last week. If you missed that email, you can read it directly on my blog at my website. https://www.voteformattmorgan.com/blog
Also going into effect on Saturday, July 1st, is the use of recreational cannabis. The new law merges medical and recreational cannabis laws. I have been a consistent vote against recreational cannabis. Still, as it is now legal, I thought I would share the guidance released from Comptroller released below that says if you have a medical cannabis card, you will avoid paying the sales tax.
I do find this ironic as many proponents of recreational cannabis pointed to it as a way to pay for the promised billions in increased spending in k-12 education. The Department of Legislative Service estimates this bill will generate a measly $19 million in revenue statewide which wouldn't even pay for the air conditioner replacement at Chopitcon High School, let alone begin to pay for the Kirwin Blue Print mandates. Like most things political, the false promise of taxing a new revenue source was more of a gimmick to win over public support than a solid fiscal solution.
Also, the next time someone on the Left says that all they want is "common-sense gun control," remind them that they helped pass HB1071. You would think the one thing the two parties would have in common is the removal of illegal firearms from our streets. Well, not so fast- this new Maryland law prohibits police from using the odor of cannabis as a reason to search a vehicle during a traffic stop. It is reported that police find 80% of illegal firearms during this type of stop.
This legislation will result in thousands of illegal firearms remaining in the hands of criminals and therefore used on citizens. It is so radical that even Governor Wes Moore refused to sign the bill, thus allowing it to go into law without his approval.
Channel 4 NBC Washington did an excellent news story on this: You can view that here: https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/politics/new-maryland-law-prohibits-police-from-using-weed-odor-as-cause-for-search/3356345/
GOVERNOR AND I UNITED AGAINST THE GAS TAX!
June 29, 2023
I want to wish everyone a good morning. It is so rare that I ever see a headline in the Baltimore Sun that I agree with, but this morning's news that Maryland Governor Wes Moore wants to eliminate the automatic gas tax comes as a pleasant surprise.
From the Baltimore Sun: Ahead of a five-cent hike Saturday in the state's gas tax, Democratic Gov. Wes Moore is calling on the Maryland General Assembly to address the state's automatic increases, which he said are harmful to the financial bottom lines of working-class families, when it reconvenes in January.
"If my mom, when she was working multiple jobs and out of nowhere, she watched her gas tax increase — for many people, that's not a big deal, but that would've been a big deal for my mom, and I just feel like we've got to do better for working families in the state of Maryland," Moore said during an interview Tuesday with The Baltimore Sun.
I couldn't agree more with Governor Wes Moore. The automatic gas tax increase is a hardship on working families and disproportional impacts rural area constituents. Since it was passed into law 10 short years ago, the law automatically raises the gas tax as the consumer price index (CPI) increases. The automatic gas tax has doubled since 2013, and the gas tax has increased by more than 30% in the last two years. As many of you know, I've been the chief proponent of decoupling the gas tax with CPI and offered this as an amendment on the House floor this year.(38-90) I would like to offer up the idea of having a one-day special session now. Let's correct this problem today as I have written this legislation, as I was the lead sponsor for this bill last legislative session. Here is a link to my bill: https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/hb0422
I hope that Annapolis Democrats do not use this as an opportunity to sneak a new tax onto the citizens of Maryland. It would be a shame and a bad look for a Democratic Governor to come out in support of a relatively simple idea of decoupling the gas tax from CPI only to have his own party implement a vehicle mileage tax under the false promise of fairness. A new tax would only worsen things for working families and add to the difficulties Maryland residents face, especially those living in rural areas.
This is an excellent example of what I have repeatedly said over the last several years. Constituents, especially those in the red areas of Maryland, must start fixing our state's problems from the outside. Indeed, Governor Moore did not campaign on cutting the gas tax, but after six short months in office, that's what he is proposing because constituents are applying public pressure. The silent majority needs to keep speaking out. Maryland is a great and beautiful state. Most problems people complain about in Maryland center around the state's politics. It would be better for all of us if we came together and corrected the fundamental problem of Maryland—our state's politics.
I will follow up on this great news with a letter to the governor's office.
I look forward to working with Governor Moore on this historic bipartisan accomplishment.
Delegate Matt Morgan
NEW GAS TAX RATE
June 23, 2023
This headline summarizes another tax increase from Annapolis, but more information must be shared. I want to provide some context.
Over the last two years, the gas tax rate has increased by 30%. In 2013, the extremists in Annapolis passed the first increase in the gas tax in more than two decades, which included an automatic increase every year tied to the Consumer Price Index - CPI - or inflation. As of this July 1st, the total state gas tax will go up to 47.8 cents per gallon, making Maryland the fourth-highest fuel tax in the nation. It is simply infuriating to see politicians raise taxes year after year without having to justify the need for the tax increase or even to have a recorded vote on it.
The chart below shows the historical amounts of the gas tax. It is interesting to note that the Maryland gas tax has doubled since 2013. It has increased as much in the last decade (2013 to today) as in the previous 91 years (1912-2013) combined. This is unsustainable.
I have continued introducing a bill and offering amendments from the House floor to correct this problem and stop those automatic increases. My amendment last session would have saved Maryland motorists from an estimated $62.5 million tax increase this year alone and $570 million over the next five years.
On a side note, it is disappointing to see some Republicans vote against stopping an automatic tax increase. You would think this is the one thing Republicans could unite on,
CLICK READ MORE Below
HONOR THE LEGACY OF DELEGATE JOHNNY WOOD
June 15, 2023
s many of you already know, our community is deeply saddened by the passing of my friend and former Maryland State Delegate, Johnny Wood. He was a true pillar of our community, and many will indeed feel his loss. Johnny was a dedicated public servant with an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of Marylanders.
Johnny's contributions to our state were many and varied. Early in his career, he fought to increase funding for local schools and expand access to affordable healthcare for all Marylanders. Later, he was instrumental in securing additional resources for our state's first responders and law enforcement officials. Throughout his time in office, Johnny stood up for what he believed in and fought for the common good.
Beyond his public service, Johnny was a dear friend to many. His warm smile, infectious laugh, and kind heart endeared him to everyone who knew him. He was always willing to lend a helping hand, offer encouragement, and support the causes he believed in.
During the Legislative session, my primary email focus is to get you as much information regarding legislation in real-time. One email I did not send out to the District 29 residents of Northern St. Mary's County during the legislative session was the scoring of Maryland Legislators by The American Conservative Union, better known as CPAC. In the spring of every year, CPAC typically releases its scorecards of votes made in the General Assembly from the previous year.
CPAC is a nationally recognized and reputable organization that evaluates lawmakers' voting performances from a Conservative perspective. The scorecard is crucial since it displays voting consistency and thoroughly evaluates amended bills, making it the most comprehensive report card available.It is especially significant for "Red Area" voters of our state because it scores the principles, beliefs, and values our voters want their elected officials to uphold. I am well aware of the frustration of Republican voters because many elected officials tend to make false promises to drive a local image, but once elected; they vote contrary to what they promised. Therefore, the scorecard accurately accounts for their actions rather than relying solely on their campaign statements. Below are the rankings of all state representatives for Northern St. Mary's - District 29A.
I'm delighted to once again obtain a Gold Star rating from CPAC and the Center for Legislative Accountability. I am proud to say I have once again kept my campaign promises and received a gold star with a 94%.
Suppose you are on my list and live in another area of the state or want more information on what legislation was scored. In that case, I strongly urge you to review their report and find exactly where your representatives stand on critical issues.
MARYLAND SCORECARD & Full Packet and legislation (PDF Version)