What is happening

This session has been remarkably hectic, amidst the flurry of proposed tax hikes and other contentious matters in the General Assembly, leaving little room to touch upon some positive aspects.

I'm thrilled that a few weeks ago, the House approved my bill, HB676, which is currently under review by the Senate Finance Committee.

In my earlier email, I mentioned HB676-Right to Try for Individual Patients, which broadens the Right to Try law to include gene-specific personalized treatments that might not undergo standard clinical trials because of their personalized nature.  This bill aims to give Marylanders with rare diseases and terminal illnesses access to customized treatments, to provide some hope and options for those suffering from these terrible diseases.

I am proud to announce that every member of the Health and Government Operations Committee unanimously approved HB676 and co-sponsored the legislation.  The House of Delegates passed the bill with unanimous support on the House Floor, and I hope that the Senate will also advance the legislation.

Please read an article written by the Goldwater Institute on the bill advancing: https://www.goldwaterinstitute.org/maryland-lawmakers-unanimously-advance-right-to-try-expansion/

Largest Tax in Increase in Maryland History

On Wednesday, I offered a plan to eliminate the proposed tax increases found in SB362 - Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2024, commonly referred to as BRFA, by returning to the historic standard of a 35% ratio for Fairbox Recovery for mass transit.  Prior to 2018, mass transit riders were required to pay for 35% of the operating cost of mass transit.  Democrats removed that requirement, and today, mass transit riders pay in the single digits.  For example, taxpayers subsidized 94% of the cost of operating the Metro.  To put some dollar figures behind this, there is more money in this budget going to Washington Area Metro ($639 million) than state dollars, ($599 million) going to roads and bridges.  SB362 - is a war on drivers.  It raises the following taxes and fees:

  • Changing vehicle registration fees so that large vehicles pay more: $250 million
  • Enacting a corporate tax reform known as "combined reporting": $225 million
  • Applying the vehicle excise tax to trade-ins: $155 million
  • Increasing the vehicle excise tax from 6% to 6.5%: $100 million
  • Increasing tolls: $75 million
  • Adding a 75-cent fee on rides through ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft: $45 million
  • Increasing fines on speed camera violations from $40- $250: $30 million

It is morally wrong and blatantly unfair to raise the cost of commuting for those driving while others are getting a free ride.  Fox 45 Baltimore did a good news story on the status of the proposal.  As well as recording some of my comments from the Floor: