Advertisement

Our View: Jobs delegation should do before 2000 session

May 12, 1999

Now that the Maryland General Assembly's 1999 session has ended, and most of the news coming out of Annapolis concerns the local city council's attempt to control loitering, it's time for the Washington County delegation to start getting its ducks in a row for the 2000 session.

Why so early? Because with all due respect, the delegation came back from the state capital with less than it should have this year. Better planning just might yield a better return next year. A few of the items we have in mind include:

- After watching the county government bring in a series of distribution centers and terminals, adding hundreds of trucks to local roadways, does it really make sense to oppose the increase in the gasoline tax that will surely be proposed next year?

We know it would make the "no new taxes" crowd happy, but not improving roads for new industrial clients makes about as much sense as inviting someone to dinner, then telling them there's not enough food to go around. If there's an alternative to raising this tax, like cutting some other projects, we'll listen, but we don't see that Washington County has the clout to get other jurisdictions' money transferred to local projects.

Advertisement

- Some local bills ran into problems because they were either filed late, or were drafted in such a way that other lawmakers were unsure what their effect would be, as in the attempt to put a "drug free school zone" designation around a facility in the Hagerstown HotSpots area where Head Start classes are offered. This area needs to hold meetings on local bills this summer and get information to bill drafters and committee chairs as early as possible.

- Compared to the metropolitan areas, Western Maryland and the rural Eastern Shore are the state's stepchildren. From time to time there's been talk about a rural alliance, but we haven't seen it yet. It's time to get rural areas together so that when it comes time to write legislation, those in the country aren't just watching as the city folks put it together.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|