Maryland lawmakers agreed today to spend the summer looking at two key Schaefer administration proposals that they put to sleep during the 1991 General Assembly session.
At its first meeting since the session ended in April, a joint committee of General Assembly leaders gave formal approval to studying the state's tax system and to a long review of proposed land-use plans within the Chesapeake Bay region.
Both matters popped up during the winter when Gov. William Donald Schaefer proposed sweeping changes in the way the state levies and collects taxes and regulates use of land around the bay.
During the session, legislative leaders killed the governor's so-called Linowes tax plan to raise $800 million in revenues and ++ his 2020 growth-management bill. Lawmakers complained that both bills were faulty and were not presented to them soon enough for a thorough legislative review.
House and Senate fiscal committees will participate in joint workshops throughout the summer studying the state's tax system, beginning with a look at how and where state government spends its money, according to Sen. Laurence Levitan, D-Montgomery, who chairs the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.
Committee leaders said they plan to have formal recommendations on changes to the tax and spending system by the time the General Assembly meets for its regular session next year.
House and Senate environmental groups will spend this summer and possibly the summer of 1992 evaluating the need for tighter restrictions on use of land around the bay.
Del. Ronald A. Guns, D-Eastern Shore, who heads the House Environmental Matters Committee, said today that in addition to studying ways to protect the land and water, lawmakers will weigh the impact new regulations could have on economic development and land value.
Guns said the study will begin with a review of existing land-use plans at the local government level, a review he said was lacking in Schaefer's proposal.