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Mooney gets high marks for business votes

August 22, 2000

Mooney gets high marks for business votes



By LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writer


A statewide business group gave the Washington County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly above-average marks for their votes on business issues this past session.

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One Washington County lawmaker, Sen. Alex X. Mooney, got a perfect score. Two others, Del. Christopher B. Shank and Del. Louise V. Snodgrass, tied with three other delegates for the highest ranking in the House of Delegates.

Maryland Business for Responsive Government recently examined the 2000 voting record of state lawmakers, pinpointing 11 votes in the Senate and 17 votes in the House it felt were important to a wide range of business interests.

Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, took a pro-business position on every vote, the interest group said.

"Although I am known as an advocate of conservative social issues, I am just as proud to support the efforts of Maryland's business community and taxpayers," Mooney said.

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Fellow freshman legislator Shank, R-Washington, said the ratings show that he stuck by his campaign promise to help make Maryland a more business-friendly state.

Shank and Snodgrass helped defeat new banking regulations and expansion of the state's employment discrimination law, both of which were opposed by the MBRG.

The group criticized Sen. Donald F. Munson for helping to defeat a true repeal of the inheritance tax. The repeal applies only to direct descendants and includes an increase in probate fees.

"It would have meant a tax increase elsewhere and I don't support that," said Munson, R-Washington.

Munson, whose cumulative rating was 79 percent, said he's always tried to be pro-business.

"Business creates jobs and my constituents tell me what they want is good-paying jobs. There's no social program in the world like a good-paying job," he said.

The group also criticized Munson and Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, for supporting failed legislation concerning gasoline prices.

The bill would have banned companies from selling gas below cost, interfering with competition, the MBRG claimed.

But local gas companies such as AC&T supported the ban in order to prevent so-called predatory pricing, when a company lowers the price only until it puts its competition out of business, said Shank, who never got a chance to vote on the legislation that died in Donoghue's committee.

Donoghue was criticized for being the only member of the delegation that voted to require prevailing wages be paid on most school construction projects.

The Maryland General Assembly, which passed the prevailing wage law, did little to help improve the state's business climate this session, according to the MBRG.

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