The February 4 Maryland General Assembly hearings conducted by the Ways and Means Committee were an incredible performance of utter rudeness and arrogance. Although not surprised, at least 20 of us, both veterans of such hearings and unacquainted rookies, were unanimously dumbfounded by it. Needless to say, Chairwoman Sheila Hixson's leadership was embarrassingly lacking.
We went to listen, learn and/or testify on House bills 92 and 204, a job creation and tax credit bill and a bill to create a propertyt ax assessment and appeals task force. The only ones apparently worthy of any respect were the "professionals," i.e. paid lobbyists and government staffers. Otherwise, during testimony by ordinary citizens, many elected officials were inattentive, interrogating, condescending, mentally and physically wandering, snickering, ridiculing and even noticeably and publicly preoccupied with Twitter (see proof from Montgomery County's Del. Bill Frick on www.americansforprosperity.com) and other laptop activities! Their message seemed to be "hurry up and shut up!"