Dear Fellow Marylander,
I’m a member of the Maryland House of Delegates; your House of Delegates. I’m part of a citizen legislature that holds annual 90-day sessions to pass the state budget and strives to improve state policy. For the remaining nine months I work my regular job, help raise my family, and fulfill my duties as a Delegate on a part-time basis.
This year things are different. This year I’ve left my job and my family to work on an issue that failed during the 2012 regular session. It is not an emergency; just another piece of policy that should be dealt with during the regular session.
The gaming industry–the reason we are back in session–is not about creating wealth; it is about transferring it from those who can least afford it to those that already have it. It is about promising wealth while delivering increased rates of divorce and substance abuse. And now that we have raised taxes for many Marylanders, we are in a special session to expand gaming and lower taxes on casinos. Unacceptable.
There are real emergencies in our state; issues that could be ameliorated through hard work in Annapolis: People in my district and throughout Maryland, without power for over a week following the June storm, would likely agree that a special session to deal with endemic outages would be a more worthy use of our time and state funds. That was an emergency. This is most certainly not.
We need real economic development and infrastructure we can rely on. These are serious issues worthy of our time and energy; issues one could see calling a special session for. That we neglected to do so in favor of dealing with gambling is a disservice to those who sent us to Annapolis.