I write this as the third week of session comes to a close and the heavy lifting of working legislation through the process begins to ramp up. Governor O’Malley submitted his budget last week, giving us our first glance at the difficult fiscal decisions that will have to be made. I have heard from many who have serious concerns about some of his proposals, and while I am not on the committee that will be dealing with the budget, I will be working closely with my colleagues and relaying to them what I hear from constituents. So please continue to contact my office with any concerns, comments or ideas you may have. Like you, I don’t want to see Montgomery County stuck with an unfair burden.
Additionally, I am proud to be working with Food and Water Watch on a bill to protect Maryland’s citizens from the dangers of toxic waste water produced by hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking”) is a process of natural gas extraction that employs toxic chemicals that can contaminate drinking water. Most of Maryland’s treatment plants are ill equipped for this waste and so it could be potentially dangerous to transport along our roads. I have serious concerns about the safety of fracking, but whether or not Governor O’Malley decides to allow it, we need to figure out how to safely treat the waste water before we risk a spill. I have heard from many who care deeply about the safety of our drinking water and the health of the Chesapeake Bay, and I don’t want to see a spill that harms either.