The 444th Session of the Maryland General Assembly has begun, and I am honored to be here representing our community.
In this Legislative session, I believe there are several critical issues facing constituents, including inflation, addressing violent crime, empowering parents in their child's education, political redistricting, and election integrity.
If you are receiving my newsletter for the first time, I want to thank you for answering our poll and signing my petition to stop the inflationary gas tax increase. One of my top priorities as an elected official is to keep you informed on your state government's interworking. I will send out a weekly email on important topics that come before us during the legislative session, and I encourage and welcome your feedback.
This week, as promised, my first bill of this session was HB 144 Motor Fuel Tax Rates - Consumer Price Index Adjustment – Repeal. (Fiscal Note is below)
Like you, I am concerned about the impact of rapidly increased inflation and energy cost on the citizens of Maryland. A little-known fact is that the Maryland gas tax is connected to CPI (consumer price index). As inflation increases, so does Maryland's fuel tax, essentially an automatic tax increase that goes into effect every July 1st.
This bill repeals that automatic tax increase and stops the projected $37 million tax increase. In my opinion, the $37 million in the fiscal note is a very low estimate of the actual tax citizens will be paying next year. I called and spoke to the fiscal analyst before the bill hearing this past Tuesday. The fiscal analysis was based on an assumption of a 4.5% inflation increase this year and a 2.6% increase next year. This is a low estimate as inflation swelled to 7% last month and after growing 6.5% last quarter.
I am hopeful the House Ways and Means Committee members take action on this legislation. I will attempt to add the measure to another bill later in session through the amendment process if they do not.
If you support this legislation, please consider signing our support petition at: https://www.voteformattmorgan.com/gastax22
Though the start of this session has been slow, we expect to return to the Floor this coming week to debate the Legislative Re- Districting maps.
The Senate has passed SJ2, the partisan Legislative Redistricting Advisory Committee (LRAC). The House crossfile is HJ2
As expected, Governor Hogan's bipartisan appointed redistricting committee, the Maryland Citizen Maryland Citizens' Legislative Districting Plan of 2022, will languish in the rules committee. This coming Wednesday, we will attempt to amend the Citizens Redistricting Map to the SJ2/HJ2 bill, whichever one comes to the House Floor first. I will post a link to the floor debate on my Facebook page.