Delegate Kathy Szeliga

AG Frosh ("A"spiring "G"ov.) gets blank check to Sue Trump's Administration

This week, Attorney General Brian Frosh brought fear mongering to Annapolis and he was granted a blank check to sue Washington. We are supposed to believe that after 3 short weeks in office, President Trump has given Maryland cause to sue the federal government. The reaction, or overreaction, of some in Annapolis was to give AG Frosh open ended powers to bring suit for anything!

AG Frosh pushed through a Joint Resolution that passed purely along party lines. There is no sunset, or ending date, to these powers granted to the Attorney General, whomever he or she may be. AG Gansler could have used this against Gov O'Malley in his run for governor. Who knows what future AG's can and will do.

I voted against this bill. The Constitution of Maryland, like the US Constitution, focuses on restricting the power of the government and a system of checks and balances. This unprecedented move was taken because of an emotional reaction to President Trump and a Republican congress rather than a long range view of this historic change.

Despite his current rhetoric, AG Frosh should not make petty partisan attacks on the President or Congress. Maryland is extremely dependent on the federal government and we are asking for help; Prince George's Co is bidding for the new FBI headquarters, we need Howard St. tunnel expansion for the Port, we want help with the Chesapeake Bay, we want the Maryland Cyber Center of Excellence, needed funds to fight the heroin epidemic, Mayor Pugh has asked for help for Baltimore City, we have 14 military bases, and more.

Some in Annapolis have been obsessed with hurting the governor politically and this is yet another attempt to nationalize Maryland's politics in an attempt to damage Governor Hogan. In the end, should AG Frosh wage war on President Trump and Congress, it will only be the citizens of our great State who get damaged.

What about Real Crime?

The murder rate in Baltimore City has hit an all-time high in January with 32 homicides. In 2005, there were also 32 murders, but more people lived in Baltimore then. Per capita, we are breaking records no one wants to break.

While AG Frosh and partisans in Annapolis are screaming at Washington about things they are afraid will happen, they have turned their backs on the people of Baltimore and what is actually happening now. Where is the outrage about the murder rate, gun violence, skyrocketing number of car-jackings and the escalating youth violence?

The House and Senate leaders in Annapolis last week pushed through a fake crime bill instead of dealing with the real crime happening in our City. They passed a bill to bar law abiding citizens who have legally obtained a concealed carry permit from possessing a firearm on college campuses. This is a complete distraction from the real issues of gun violence. The proponents of this bill, along with AG Frosh, should be calling for the judges in Baltimore to stop letting career criminals out of jail rather than focusing their attention on possible problems that might be created in DC. You've seen fake news, now you've seen fake problems. These are masterful diversionary tactics to distract from real problems like a heroin epidemic across our state and an escalating murder and violence problem in Baltimore City.

More from the Poll

Almost 1500 people filled out the survey I sent around recently. Here is part 2 of a 2 part report back to you.

With all the rhetoric about fracking, I was surprised to have 72% of the respondents say they support fracking in Western Maryland with strict environmental regulations.

I was not surprised that only 2% of the respondents said we should increase the state budget through tax increases. Who wants more taxes? 2% of the people.

While 35% of the people said they would like the budget cut with a tax cut, the majority of the people think we should level fund the budget – 63%. I agree with this position too. If we level fund the budget and limit budget growth, we can get rid of that structural deficit once and for all. I look at government spending like I look at your household budget and mine. We can't just keep spending more money every year because we don't always get a raise. And when we get a raise, we often have expenses that increase (like your utility bill that's going up) just because they do. Once we get the budget in order – YES, let's have a meaningful tax cut for everyone.

Finally, I asked you about schools. Only 8% of the respondents said we should spend more on our public schools. A full 80% said we spend about the right amount or too much. When I speak with people across our state, the word ACCOUNTABILITY is what I hear. We must ensure that all our children receive a great education regardless of where they live. Taxpayers have made a serious investment in education and our kids deserve accountability to be sure they are getting a quality education.

Regarding funding of public schools, many people are surprised to learn that Baltimore City receives about $17,000 per year per student (St. Ursula Catholic School is about $4,600 per year per student). Knowing that a number of schools are failing our students, I asked if you thought our kids should be able to attend non-public schools with a public scholarship. 40% said no – they opposed publically funded scholarship for private schools. 50% said yes, students should be able to go to a non-public school with public scholarship and 10% are unsure.

I think that if a student is in a chronically failing school, they should have the opportunity to attend a non-public school using a voucher or public scholarship – provided it costs less. For instance, if a student in a Baltimore City failing school went to St. Ursula, they would get a $4,600 scholarship. The child would get a great education and taxpayers would save over $12,000 per year per student! It's a WIN - WIN. After all, we should be committed to the child and not the public school.

Regarding school funding, I want to remind you that Governor Hogan has increased funding for public schools to the highest level in state history. When the Teacher's Union says he is cutting education funding, it's simply NOT TRUE. Remember what I always say about a government cut – it's a decrease in the increase. They wanted more than they got, but they still have an increase.

THANK YOU!

Thanks for your interest in the important issues facing Maryland today. Please be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter for the most up to date information.

God bless you and your family!

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Timonium Bike Show Speaker - Feb 2017

Delegate Kathy Szeliga United States
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