The readers weigh in on the session

General Assembly 2009

April 14, 2009

Readers of The Baltimore Sun's Maryland Politics blog weighed in Monday on the final actions of the General Assembly, which adjourned at midnight.

Blog commenter Mark Newgent said utility ratepayers were big losers in this year's session.

"Forget the red herring of re-regulation. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act will significantly increase our electric and energy rates. Despite its failure in Europe, cap and trade is on its way to Maryland. Expect higher rates and energy rationing all for no impact on the climate."

Reader Mark Anderson said he wasn't all that impressed with either the Democrats or the Republicans this year.

"It's pretty obvious that Governor [Martin] O'Malley comes up short this session. All his signature initiatives have gone unfulfilled.

"Death penalty, environment, slots, driver's licenses, marriage all ended in compromise. Having exhausted all his political capital last year in getting slots, we are still no closer to a video lottery terminal than we were 18 months ago.

"Unable to close the deal, one has to wonder who will step up next year to offer a primary challenge to O'Malley.

"Honorable Mention: Loser - the Republican Party. With such a weak governor, the Party offers no viable alternative. The Republican buffoons in the House of Delegates offer mindless amendments to delay legislation and present no real leadership or vision to take advantage of O'Malley's weaknesses."

The legislature's last-minute efforts to enact legislation allowing the state to obtain the Preakness Stakes through eminent domain didn't sit well with a number of readers.

"Of all the problems the state is facing, especially financial problems, this is among the last issues lawmakers should be concerned about," blog commenter PK wrote. "Horse racing is a dying sport, and I don't believe that will change anytime soon."

The state budget was a major concern for a number of readers, including commenter Believe, who said things are only likely to get worse.

"April 15th deadline + week or two for Comptroller to garner revenue numbers will be real telling. Remember the last 4 meetings of the Spending Affordability Committee have seen lowered revenue each time. The current state budget is balanced under the idea that the next meeting will have equal or greater revenue - something most analysts consider a vast shirking of responsibility."

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