We worked over the weekend preparing for our second legislative session of 2012.
I could start this post with my favorite Mark Twain quote. The one that says “no man's life, liberty… are safe…” But I won't.
Yet, it is true as our 188 Maryland representatives (141 delegates & 47 senators) convene the special session starting today.
Remember the exciting close to the General Assembly more than a month ago?
They ended without concluding their official business of passing the Governor's budget bill, which would have led to implementation of across the board budget cuts or the “doomsday budget”.
The debate then moved to what kind of special session – a short 2-3 day session focused on just theun passed budget legislation or a “katie bar the door” 2-3 week special session which allows legislators to introduce much more legislation all under the goal of balancing the states 1.1 billion structural deficit.
The good news is that we got the short focused one.
The bad news is that it will move very quickly and without much transparency in the event some creative amendments show up.
At this point none of our issues (sales tax on services and tax on e-filing) are embedded in any of these bills set to be discussed today and tomorrow. The danger is that these could be reintroduced in the form of an amendment and we will be watching.
Here is a link to the three bills that will be discussed and a report to the general assembly outlining the legislative and economic impact of the proposed bills Download 2012 Special Session
Look for personal income tax hikes and the elimination of exemptions as the primary vehicles to balance the budget.
Here is a link to our special legislative / regulatory town hall from last week.