- Post 08 July 2012
- By MBRG
Maryland Business for Responsive Government (MBRG) issued its annual Roll Call, scoring legislators on their votes during the regular and May special sessions of the 2012 Maryland General Assembly.
For the first time in the publication's 27 year history, more than half of the issues in both the House and the Senate focused on the budget issues and tax increases passed by the General Assembly.
"There is no single, more important indicator for economic development in this State than the budget," said Democratic-Co Chair Marvin Mandel.
While states are cutting their budgets an average of 2.7% nationally, Maryland increased its budget by $1.2 billion. Increases in income tax rates, reductions in exemptions and increases in fees were a few of the additional costs imposed on Maryland taxpayers and businesses as the General Assembly was called back into special session in May to fund calls for increased spending.
Continued raids on special funds coupled with the proclivity of Maryland's elected leadership to raise taxes to meet spending does not interject certainty and stability into Maryland's economic development climate. The state needs to take a bi-partisan look at its spending habits and make the hard cuts and choices other states in this country are making.
"Maryland clearly has a spending problem; not an income problem. We cannot spend our way out of this," said Republican Co-Chairman Ellen Sauerbrey.
Here are some of the highlights and lowlights from this year's Roll Call:
- Nearly all of the Senators in the Harford/Cecil county, the Eastern Shore and Western Maryland scored a perfect 100%. These three jurisdictions scored the highest of any regions in the state (100, 87.6, 84.5, respectively) in the Senate. In the House, Western Maryland scored the highest of any delegation (86), followed by Harford/Cecil (84.1) and the Eastern Shore (81.1).
- Southern Maryland edged out Howard county in the House (44.6 v. 42.5), but in the Senate Howard County far outpaced Southern Maryland (52.6 v. 41.6).
- Senator Bobby Zirkin had the largest increase in either the House or the Senate from either politocl party, going from 11 in 2011 to 63 in 2012, a 52 percentage point increase.
- Delegate John Wood , who received the highest score in the House, ranked number one among Democrats in both the House and the Senate with a 91. The highest scoring Democratic Senator was Southern Maryland's Senator Roy Dyson with a 75%.
- Two members of the House of Delegates scored "0" in 2012 and both were from metropolitan areas. No member of the Senate scored a "0."
- Eleven (11) first term elected Delegates in the House earned a perfect 100% rating for the second year in a row.
- Senate committee chairmen scored an average of 21.4% down from 30.75% last year. While Senate Minority leadership scored a perfect 100%.
- House committee chairmen's average score was 12.5%.
- Six (6) senators scored 11% or below.