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Committee's decisions critical to Md. citizens

February 15, 2007

Editor's note: This is part four of an occasional series explaining the committees on which state lawmakers from Washington County serve in the Maryland General Assembly.




Committee name: Ways and Means Committee

Washington County representative: Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington

Started on committee: 1995

Committee's purpose: "The primary purpose of the Ways & Means Committee is to ensure that adequate revenues are raised to meet the state's budget as established by the Appropriations Committee," McKee said. "Additional purposes of the committee are education policy (K-12 and secondary), election law, children and youth issues, gaming and horse racing, and transportation funding."

At the committee's first meeting of the session, Chairwoman Sheila E. Hixson, D-Montgomery, summarized the relationship with the Appropriations Committee: "They're the ones who spend the money and we're the ones who raise it."

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How the Maryland General Assembly Web site describes the committee: "Ways and Means Committee is responsible for legislation relating to children, youth, and families; education financing, including primary and secondary education, community colleges, and scholarships and financial aid; election law; gaming and horse racing; State and local taxes; and transportation funding and revenues."

Key issue(s) the committee could face/is facing this session: electronic voting machines, paper trails, early voting; slots; corporate income tax reform; income taxes on retirement income; heritage tax credit; mass transit funding; Geographic Cost of Education Index funding.

Bill(s) connected to the committee's work that McKee has introduced or plans to introduce: None to date.

Subcommittee(s) McKee is assigned to: Education Subcommittee and Vice Chair's Committee

Comment: "The work of the Ways & Means Committee is very important and the committee deals with a range of issues," McKee said. "All impact the lives of Maryland citizens - the young, the middle-aged and the old."

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