Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 14, 2004

Rejecting slots shows disregard for will of people

Once again ignorance has prevailed in Annapolis ("Assembly falls short on budget gap," April 13). House Speaker Michael E. "I Hate Slots" Busch's personal agenda may cost the state $1 billion over the next two years.

We can say hello to more chaos in the public school system - and goodbye to the horse racing industry and public services.

I'm sure neighboring states where slots are legal are celebrating. But when will the people's voice be heard instead of that of loudmouth legislators in the House?

The citizens of Maryland elected Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. on a no-new-taxes, pro-slots platform. Yet Mr. Busch has been deaf to the people's voice.

It appears that we need a new speaker. I hope that in 2006 the people of Anne Arundel County will treat Mr. Busch the same way the citizens of Allegany County treated former House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. in 2002.

Maria-Elena Perez

Dundalk

As a Maryland Republican, I want to thank House Speaker Michael E. Busch and the Democratic members of the House of Delegates.

They have done more to help the Maryland Republican Party than we ever could have done ourselves.

All Marylanders - Democrats and Republicans - who voted for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. will remember what the state legislature failed to accomplish this year.

Legislators will hear our response at the ballot box.

Paul H. Ford

Owings Mills

Public needs always should come first

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller made a very interesting remark in The Sun's article "State budget, `living wage' await last-minute resolution" (April 12): "Sometimes, in the course of political games, the needs of the people also are met. ... It's nice when they can coincide."

Wouldn't it be nicer yet if the needs of the people were always met?

Kathy Riley

Baltimore

Only Busch set forth a complete solution

Kudos to The Sun for noting the statesmanship exhibited by House Speaker Michael E. Busch during Maryland's slots and budget debate ("Impasse," editorial, April 9).

Mr. Busch is the lone Maryland elected leader who had the courage to put forth a comprehensive budget solution - one that, yes, included tax increases - to provide the revenue needed to fund essential state services.

Opponents of this sound fiscal plan, including Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., seemed content to do nothing while they harped on Mr. Busch's ideas.

If opponents truly want to solve Maryland's fiscal problems by reducing spending, let's see their specific plans - ones that begin with cuts that affect their own key neighborhoods and constituencies.

Kevin Miller

Annapolis

Let the public decide on slots

Now that another Maryland session has ended without approval of slots, it is time to let the citizens of Maryland have our say ("Assembly falls short on budget gap," April 14).

Since our elected officials can't or won't pass this legislation, let us vote in a special statewide referendum.

It is time for us to decide.

Carol L. Irvin

Hampstead

Governor can't veto state's budget bill

The Sun's article "State budget, `living wage' await last-minute resolution" (April 12) contains an error.

It states that "the budget bill goes to the governor for his signature." In fact, once the budget has been approved by both houses, it becomes law. It is not sent to the governor.

Because it is the governor's budget to begin with, and the legislature can only cut amounts within programs, it would make no sense to then allow the governor to either sign or veto the state budget.

Bert Booth

Towson

New garages bring more people to city

After reading about the "robotic" garage proposed for Charles Street ("Plans for `robotic' garage face friendly opposition," April 11), I hope few roadblocks slow or prevent the onset of this project.

While initial reflection may focus on the negative impact of this shadowing structure, further consideration should remind us that the people drawn to the area by the ease of parking would shine a far more positive aesthetic on the area.

I look forward to checking out this futuristic place to park and having an excuse to see what I have been missing in that part of the city.

Beth Wolf

Timonium

Americans subsidize world's medications

I read with interest the letter from the CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, who defended the new Medicare drug bill that prohibits the government from interfering with the price of drugs, claiming that such regulation would limit choices and curtail the development of new drugs ("Price controls on prescriptions hurt consumers," letters, April 11).

He did not explain why it was acceptable for other developed countries such as Canada to place price controls on drugs or why pharmaceutical companies sell drugs to such nations. The answer is simple: Selling drugs at vastly reduced prices is still highly profitable for the drug companies.

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