Hearing for SB 281
Feb 6th 1pm
You will be given 3 minutes to speak. If you are submitting written testimony you must bring a copy for each of the Senators who sit on the committ…ee (11 copies) and submit them to Committee staff before noon so they can make sure all of the Senators have the materials on their desks.
There are various parking garages in Annapolis, or you can park at the Naval Academy Stadium and ride the Annapolis Shuttle/Trolley to Lawyers Mall- The Senate Building is right across the Street.
George Washington and his army marched barefoot in the snow to make a treacherous nighttime crossing of the Frozen Delaware river to Trenton, NJ to launch a surprise attack on the British encampment which eventually turned the tide of the American Revolution, ensuring the birth of the United States- will you give up a day at work to preserve what they fought to leave us?
Isnt it frightening to hear the words “200 million in cuts to education” or hundreds of millions in cuts to services such as police departments and libraries? It is important to note that these “cuts” are cuts in projected spending, not real belt tightening cuts to existing departmental budgets. The total budget passed by the legislative body being called a doomsday budget is by no means a true doomsday budget, it includes $700 million in growth! That’s right, growth!
According to the Department of Legislative Services, even with the cuts included in the “Doomsday Budget”, total state spending still increases by nearly $700 million over last year. Total state spending in FY 2012 was $34.7 billion, in FY 2013 total spending increased to $35.4 billion.
Education spending under this budget grows from $4,948.70 in FY 2012 to $4,950.50 in FY 2013- this is by no means a cut to education. Furthermore, the reconvening special taxing session of the General Assembly will result in the shift of teacher pensions from the state to the counties which will ultimately result in additional county tax increases.
Over the course of this Governor’s administration, Annapolis’s solution to the state’s fiscal problems is to dig deeper into the citizens’ pockets. Taxes, tolls, and fees have increased multiple times since Governor O’Malley came to office and spending has increased by over $1 billion every year. This year was no exception. During the regular 90 day legislative session, Governor O’Malley’s budget as proposed, included over $300 million in higher taxes and fees and shifted $238 million of the costs of teacher pensions to the counties, guaranteeing a tax increase at the local level as well. This is money Marylanders can ill afford at this time of economic leanness. Because his tax package was not passed, we will convene again on Monday at a cost of over 20 thousand dollars a day to overburdened taxpayers, in order to “ get it done” as he has been quoted.
Recent polls show that 96% of Marylanders feel that they pay enough taxes. They are now under the shadow of even more tax hikes and I promise you that I have heard from hundreds of my constituents who have asked for NO SPECIAL TAXING SESSION. For this reason I will not be supporting any tax increases, or any part of the Governor’s special taxing session agenda.
Press release from BGE: BG&E’s Residential Electric Customers Can Expect Decline in Commodity Portion of Their Bill
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company’s Residential Electric Customers Can Expect a Nearly 25 Percent Decline in the Commodity Portion of their Bill When Compared to 2009
Total bill down by nearly 17 percent since 2009
, April 26, 2011 – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), today announced that residential customers who purchase their power from the utility, under Standard Offer Service (SOS) rates, can expect to see a year-over-year decrease of approximately 14 percent in the commodity portion of their bill beginning June 1, 2011, based on new supply contracts approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission on Friday, April 22, 2011. The projected decline follows a similar decrease in June 2010 and collectively results in a 24 percent reduction in the commodity cost of electricity, from 12.0 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in June 2009 to 9.2 cents per kWh, beginning in June 2011. For the typical residential customer, this equates to a savings of $28 per month or $336 per year. These annual rates are a blend of summer and non-summer rates. Combined with delivery costs, BGE’s residential customers will see a decline in their total bill of approximately 17 percent.
Media Line: 410 470-7433 www.constellation.com
“Customers are taking full advantage of these programs and recognize the significant savings they offer,” said Mark D. Case, senior vice president of strategy and regulatory affairs for BGE. “More than 440,000 peak energy conservation devices have been installed in customers’ homes and more than 7 million reduced-price compact fluorescent light bulbs have been sold at participating retailers. Additionally, more than 17,000 customers have taken advantage of BGE’s Quick Home Energy Check-ups or Home Performance with ENERGY STAR programs and discovered new opportunities for making their homes more energy efficient. These programs also support EmPOWER Maryland’s goal of reducing energy consumption 15 percent by 2015.”
Non-residential customers are also benefiting from lower commodity prices. BGE projects small commercial customers – typically businesses similar in size to a convenience store – will see a decline of approximately 20 percent in June 2011 compared to June 2009.
BGE, www.bge.com, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 640,000 natural gas customers in Central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,000 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Constellation Energy, www.constellation.com, a FORTUNE 500 company also headquartered in Baltimore, with subsidiaries that generate, sell and provide other energy-related services to customers throughout North America.
“For nearly three years, wholesale energy prices have been trending downward and BGE customers continue to reap the benefits of those significantly lower market prices,” said Kenneth W. DeFontes, Jr., president of BGE. “These lower prices not only benefit BGE customers who purchase their power from the utility, but BGE customers who alternatively choose to purchase power from a third-party supplier may be able to save even more. Third-party suppliers may also offer opportunities to purchase “green” energy supply. Regardless of whether customers participate in electric choice or remain with BGE for their electricity supply, today’s announcement is more evidence that competition is working in Maryland.”
I’d like to take a moment to wrap up the 2011 legislative session.
As you know Maryland like many other states has over spent for decades. As result, we continually run a deficit and accumulate additional debt.
I believe the budget should have been the focus of this legislative session however; the battle over same sex marriage, cross dressing legislation and illegal immigrant tuition discounts, consumed much of this year’s session. It is my belief that these issues were in fact a smokescreen and a distraction to deflect attention away from the looming budget crisis. Unfortunately, the budget crisis was overshadowed by social issues.
Once again, the O’Malley administration and the majority party passed a 34 billion dollar budget this year. This equates to over $1 billion more than last years budget, yet you have undoubtedly heard Governor O’Malley say that he cut the budget. Included in the budget is $1.4 billion in new spending, a 10.6% increase.
Fees and Taxes
This budget is balanced with tax and fee increases, including:
- Vehicle Titling Tax doubled $50 to $100
- Vanity Plate Fee doubled from $25 to $50
- Land Recording Fees – doubled $20 to $40
- Birth Certificate Fees – doubled from $12 to $24
- Increase in Hospital Assessments adding 2.5% to rates
- Increasing Nursing Home Tax from 4% to 5.5%
The budget included a reduction in prescription benefits to retired state employees, now living on a fixed income. Because of the Governor’s failure to address the real problem of gross overspending, and failure to look for real solutions to the budget crisis, I committed once again to voting against the budget.
SB1213 raises tax on alcohol from 6% to 9% by July 1, 2011. When this bill was first introduced it was billed as a dime a drink increase with the funds going to assist the developmentally disabled citizens of MD, with the increase in sales tax gradually over several years. As it became certain that the votes were there, the bill was amended quickly to remove the allocated funding to the disabled, and to apply the increase at once. When we attempted to debate the increase, the Speaker of the House shut down debate and forced a vote on this bill. This tax will have a decidedly negative effect on many small businesses throughout the state. Bar and restaurant owners are unfairly singled out for taxing, and those especially hard hit will be Maryland businesses located on the borders to Pennsylvania and Delaware, where Marylanders will travel to buy alcohol.
In addition, many other new or increased taxes were proposed, including a gas tax and grocery bag tax. I voted against and strongly opposed all of these tax proposals.
Tuition Discounts for illegal immigrants
SB 167/ HB 470 this bill grants in state tuition rates to illegal immigrants residing and working in MD. Despite the fact that this inclusion will cost taxpayers money, will guarantee Maryland’s place as a premier “ sanctuary state” and will undoubtedly result in a federal lawsuit due to its unconstitutionality; was passed by a vote of 27- 19 in the Senate and 74-65 in the House of Delegates. Click the links to see how your Representative voted!
I voted against this and will continue to stand against benefits and rights to those residing here illegally at any rate, and especially at the cost to taxpaying citizens.
Same Sex Marriage
As you know I have been the general on the battle field of marriage in the state of Maryland for nearly 8 years now. As result, I have seen many futile attempts to legalize same sex marriages in our state.
This year that all changed. This legislative session the skid was greased by special interest and same sex marriage legislation was slated to pass. SB 116 passed easily through the Senate by a vote of 25-21 and then unexpectedly hit the brakes in the House of Delegates as the citizens came to the defense of marriage in MD by calling and visiting legislators to make their voices on this issue heard.
Much to the surprise of the homosexual activist and the Democrat leaders, after a full week, they were unable to secure the 71 votes needed to legalize same sex marriage in Maryland. In a procedural move, the bill was sent back to committee where it would rest peacefully. This maneuver prevented the Democrats from having to be on record on a vote that would most likely effect the outcome of the 2014 elections. See who voted for the bill in Judiciary Committee by following this link: Committee Votes
Pro – Life
It has been a bitter sweet session regarding the life of the unborn. Though not one of our 11 Pro Life bills made it to the full House or Senate for a vote, I am heartened because there were 11 Pro Life bills introduced by a variety of individual lead sponsors. We have 28 legislators recognized as “Pro Life” who are committed to the issue of defending the life of the unborn.
I am heartbroken that the pro life members have failed to advance even one piece of pro life legislation to the House or Senate floor. For this reason I initiated the new formation of the pro life caucus this session. The members of this year’s caucus are willing to fight the fight for the life of the unborn. To view the list of this years abortion bills, follow this link: Pro Life Bills
Its important to note that many of the bills, such as HB 23 and HB 187 simply require abortion clinics to be regulated and licensed. these were also killed in Health and Government Operations Committee, some without even getting a vote. These bills can only help preserve the safety of women in Maryland, and yet the bills do not even see a fair committee vote.
I am committed to starting a war on the issue of abortion as I have on the issue of marriage. It’s high time we stop the innocent murder of the unborn while we as a culture want to preserve the life of convicted murderers.
I have done my best to represent the values and views of those who sent me back to Annapolis to represent them. I have never wavered from my beliefs and convictions on many issues and I have never allowed political correctness to get in the way of the truth.
To this end, I rest in the belief that you will continue to allow me to represent you in the Maryland General Assembly.
Don H. Dwyer, Jr.
March 15th there was 7 Pro Life bills heard in the Health and Government Operations Committee. Click here to view http://mlis.state.md.us/2011rs/subjects/abortion.htm
The majority of the bills focused on regulating abortion clinics and to see that those clinics meet the same reporting and oversight requirements as other medical facilities.
In November 2010, Dr. Leroy Carhart opened an abortion clinic that specializes in late term abortions in Gaithersburg Maryland. The arrival of Dr. Carhart initiated an outcry of public resistance to the practice of late term abortions. There is no doubt that he came to Maryland because of the states very lax laws and the fact that abortion clinics are not regulated in any way. He is literally getting away with murder.
In the past year, there have been reports of simply egregious, barbaric and deadly practices of abortion providers in Maryland. There is no doubt that women’s physical and mental health are at risk as result of the Legislatures unwillingness to regulate facilities and doctors performing abortions in Maryland.
There was also a hearing on Maryland’s Personhood Amendment that would confer the constitutional right to life from the moment of conception. This bill has been heard for the past three years. This year, all of the testimony on the bills was factual and irrefutable.
Dr. Carhart’s arrival in Maryland has thrown fuel on the smoldering fire of the Pro Life community. The barbaric nature of late term abortions opens an entirely new debate that is certain to tug at the heartstrings of Maryland’s most liberal communities.
It’s time that we fight to drive Dr. Carhart and all abortionist who harm unsuspecting pregnant minority women out of our state. Next session there will be a new strategy that involves public intervention to bring this issue front and center in the Maryland General Assembly.
The Pro Life legislation has not been voted as of today but we will keep you posted on the progress of all Pro Life legislation in the Maryland General Assembly.
Delegate Don Dwyer, Jr.
I’m thrilled and humbled to announce that I have once again been re-elected to the Maryland House of Delegates. I do not hold my office lightly, and see my work as a great responsibility to God and to the people of Maryland. Thank you for trusting me to do this work on your behalf.
I am greatly encouraged by the amount of support I received this election, and have therefore decided to set my sights higher when the next election comes around. I am announcing my decision to seek the open Senate seat in Anne Arundel County District 31 in 2014. I am humbled to have the confidence and support of the voters in the district. I am honored to represent Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated conservatives in District 31. I look forward to your continued support in 2014.
Delegate Don H. Dwyer, Jr.
I have had a great time campaigning, getting to see people all over our district and meeting new folks has been a really great experience.I am encouraged by the trust that you have given me, I am humbled each and every time I pass a yard with my sign, or see volunteers wearing a Dwyer t- shirt and as always, I am honored to have been given the chance to serve you as your representative in Annapolis. With your help in these last few days,I am confident that I will return to continue being YOUR conservative voice.
Volunteers are needed to help sign wave at each of the 40 polling locations during the busy hours. I’d like to cover polls from 7-10am and then again from 4-8pm. Volunteers will greet voters and offer Delegate Dwyer’s literature to those ho want it. This is a very effective way to show support and enthusiasm and is a crucial part of the campaign, as many people make up their minds as they walk into the polls.
All volunteers are invited to come to Beefalo Bob’s on Ft. Smallwood Road where we will watch the returns.
To sign up to help me with poll support, please email Louisa Baucom.
I hope that if you can you will give me just a little bit more of your time and support!
PS! If you have a DWYER yard sign,I would appreciate it if you would take the sign with you when you vote and plant it at the entrance of your polling location.
Please take some time to check out the new gang initiatives website thanks to Baltimore/Washington High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
I have participated in Maryland’s Gang Task Force, and sponsored or co-sponsored the following bills from 2007-2010:
1. Consecutive Sentencing – (Co-Sponsored by Dwyer) HB1269: Require that a sentence for participation in a criminal gang be served consecutively to any other criminal sentence. This bill was adopted, but amended to only apply in the event of a murder.
2. Definition of Criminal Gang Member – (Sponsored by Dwyer) HB1307: Require the development of a definition of gang member that is consistent across the State to make it easier for prosecutors to invoke the gang statute.
3. Diminution Credits for Gun Crimes by Gang Members – (Co-Sponsored by Dwyer) HB1229: Prohibit use of diminution credits for gun-related crimes by gang members.
4. Include Misdemeanors as Gang Crimes – (Co-Sponsored by Dwyer) HB1265: Amend existing gang statute definition of “underlying crime” to include misdemeanors, including assault, prostitution, gambling, malicious destruction of property, defacement of property, human trafficking, etc. at reduced sentences (5 years max) versus felonies (10 years max). This was partially adopted.
5. Gang Solicitation – (Co-Sponsored by Dwyer) HB1211: Expand existing statute beyond just “threatening” people to join a gang to include such concepts as entice, induce, cajole, lure, etc.
6. Adult Court – (Co-Sponsored by Dwyer) HB1260: Establish presumption of adult court for 16-year-olds involved in gang crimes.
7. Pretrial Release – (Co-Sponsored by Dwyer) HB1237: Prohibit commissioners from granting pretrial release to repeat offenders involved in gang crimes – only a judge could grant pretrial release.
8. Forfeiture of Property – (Co-Sponsored by Dwyer) HB1181: Piggyback existing drug-crime statute to include gang crimes so that gang members forfeit assets acquired as a result of gang crime.
9. Signal Jamming – (Co-Sponsored by Dwyer) HJ!0: Petition US Congress to adopt legislation to allow the States to block cell phones in correctional facilities.
10. Clarify Definition of Criminal Gang – (Co-Sponsored by Dwyer) HB1259: Remove the word “ongoing” from the current definition of a criminal gang in order to make it easier for prosecutors to invoke the gang statute.
O’Malley has certainly made some waves with this one. Here are some other articles from around the web on the topic:
Stoney Creek Rod and Gun Club recommends Delegate Dwyer to their members for the upcoming November election. View their recommendation by opening the pdf: Stoney Creek Pdf.