Showing posts with label government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label government. Show all posts

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Delegate McDermott Proposes Several Business-Friendly Bills”

Delegate McDermott Proposes Several Business-Friendly Bills for the 2014 Legislative Session

“Delegate McDermott Proposes Several Business-Friendly Bills”

ANNAPOLIS – Four bills proposed during the 2014 legislative session by Delegate Mike McDermott (R-Worcester & Wicomico) will create a more business-friendly environment for the state of Maryland. Delegate McDermott, who represents the Lower Eastern Shore, is sponsoring several legislative bills aimed at making Maryland work for business.

 “Maryland desperately needs legislation that will make it a more business friendly state.  Our current business environment does not allow it to adequately compete with our neighboring states,” Delegate McDermott said of his proposed bills. “These laws will help out not only big business, but also small business owners, contractors, electricians and the like.  We need to change the way we think about business in Maryland.”
McDermott’s “Truth in Permitting” bill restructures the way in which local government responds to proposed building and electrical permits. The current system in place doesn’t require the permit review board to specify why a particular permit was rejected, nor does it require the permit review board to review a permit within a “reasonable amount of time.” Delegate McDermott’s proposal will change this process and require the board to indicate exactly what is wrong with the proposed permit within a reasonable amount of time.
“There is a poor system in place today that often fails to tell a contractor what is wrong with their permit,” Delegate McDermott said. “This faulty process results in a back and forth between contractors and architects trying to identify the problem which is often omitted by those reviewing the permit. This adds to the time and money it takes business owners to have their permits approved often resulting in months of lost time.”
Additionally, House Bill 199, or the “Corporate Income Tax-Rate Reduction” bill, will reduce the corporate tax-rate from the current 8.25% to a lower 6%, helping corporations statewide. The reduction will give corporations in Maryland more breathing room, allowing them to operate more freely. It would provide a competitive response to surrounding states with lower rates and incentives.
Likewise, House Bill 26 will require agencies who are submitting regulations to also submit a fiscal impact statement. Currently, when an agency submits a regulation for review they do not have to assess the fiscal impact of that regulation.  The bill will make sure that before any regulations are passed, lawmakers and Marylanders alike have a chance at analyzing how the regulation will impact the economy as well as the state’s budget. The impact of this bill is far reaching and will affect farmers and other businesses across Maryland.
Delegate McDermott’s fourth bill aimed at aiding business will alter the penalty process presently regulated by the Department of Labor and Licensing Regulations (“DLLR”). Currently, the DLLR penalizes small businesses for “non-serious violations” without first giving them a warning. Delegate McDermott’s bill, though, will make sure that a warning is first given for non-serious violations before the DLLR can fine the business owner.
“Maryland needs to be a more business-friendly state and it can start with this legislative year,” Delegate McDermott said. “We have a real opportunity here to do what’s right, to compete with our neighboring states, and to make Maryland a more prosperous, inviting state in which to do business.”

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"A Minute With Mike" - Keeping Schools Safe without Compromising 2nd Amendment

Published on Feb 27, 2013
"A Minute with Mike" is an approximately one minute vlog (video blog) where Delegate Mike McDermott, who proudly represents the people of District 38B in the Maryland General Assembly, speaks on various topics in Maryland Legislature.

In this vlog, Delegate Mike McDermott shares his thoughts on ways in which we can keep Maryland schools safer with three of the bills he is sponsoring that do not compromise your 2nd Amendment rights.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Some Interesting Words.........

Observations and Reflections on Legislative Activities

By Delegate Mike McDermott

January 17th-23rd

  • The session opened on Monday evening with a presentation by Delegate Shawn Tarrant reflecting on the life and legacy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The delegate offered some interesting insights reflecting on many struggles and triumphs by African-American Marylanders.
  • On Tuesday, the committee heard from the Chief Judge Ben Clyburn of Maryland’s District Court system concerning the digitalization of court records. He first reviewed the success of implementing the E-Ticket system (computer generated traffic tickets) which is now utilized on over 50% of all tickets issued. Concerning the coming consolidations and changes, there were many questions regarding some of the operational details which they were not prepared to answer, but the dialogue was helpful. It was suggested that the working committee overseeing the changes for the district courts should include representation from the Judiciary Committee. This was resisted by the Chief Judge as a separation of powers issue. The problem is the District Court is spending money and making decisions about future expenses without input from legislators who will be the ones deciding on funding. Without legislative approval, a lot of tax dollars are at risk of being wasted by a committee preparing for change that may not be fully funded. It was a good example of a failure to partner by government entities which could create significant problems in the future.
  • On Wednesday, I met with a representative of the License Beverage Holders to discuss their recommended changes to the wholesale operations of the Worcester County Liquor Control Board. They had made a presentation to the Worcester County Commissioners on Tuesday. I am waiting to hear back from the commissioners regarding their thoughts on the operations of the LCB before crafting any legislation.
  • On Thursday, the Judiciary Committee received a report from the Chairman of the Parole Commission, David Blumburg, regarding their activities in the past year. Also present in the audience for the review were several wardens and other local correctional service staff from across Maryland. There was much debate over the effectiveness of the Parole Commission in meeting the needs of the local correctional facilities. In fact, at times, members of the Committee had to referee between those speaking to the Committee and those in the audience.
    1. Two discussion items stood out: first, it was reported to us that inmates receiving “Good Time” Credits had a higher recidivism rate that than those who served out more of their sentence. I found this interesting considering that we are rewarding inmates for behaving by letting them go early, only to have them offend again. I was not the only delegate thinking that perhaps we should consider eliminating these credits.
    2. The second issue was the cost of parole monitoring. This cost is suppose to be paid in full by the inmate during his parole/probation time. I was surprised to learn that the Commission Chairman provides a waiver of these fees whenever he is asked to do so; and, further, if the inmate does not pay the fees (Rule 10 of their parole/probation requirements), the Commission does not violate them nor does it require them to make the payments. I found this outrageous and I advised the Chairman that I expected him to fully collect all monies owed to the State of Maryland by any inmate being given the privilege of parole/probation. It is interesting to note that the Governor’s Budget for this year includes a 4 million dollar increase in the fees charged for Parole and Probation Supervision by the state. Sounds like the governor may want to have a sit down with his Parole Commission Chairman before he counts on any money from these guys!
  • In my comments for this past week, I would be remiss if I did not mention an incident which occurred on the floor of the House during the Thursday morning session. One of our Baltimore County Delegates stood and gave a somber tribute to a Baltimore County Fireman, Mark Falkenhan, killed in the line of duty the previous day. The two were very good friends and it was a very heavy, emotional moment in the House. I had stood up to introduce my family and was recognized by the Speaker immediately after this somber moment. I felt compelled to ask the Speaker for permission to pray for the Firefighters family and our colleague who was in mourning. This request was denied based upon some bizarre sense of House protocols that made even less sense once they were explained. I then requested a simple moment of silence. This too was rejected. It seems in the peoples House, a prayer can be said to start the meeting, but we will not do so at any other time. Fortunately, several delegates came over after the session was adjourned and we prayed together for the Firefighters family and our colleague. I received many comments from veteran and freshman delegates alike later in the day indicating that they thought I had done the right thing and they thought it quite strange that my request was not allowed.

I understand protocol, and I respect the Speaker, but I think this unwritten rule is not in the best interest of the House or the people of Maryland. If anything, we need more prayer on the floor of the people’s House.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bill To Allow Inmates To Work At Virginia Rest Areas

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA -(AP)A bill allowing inmates to provide maintenance at Virginia's rest stops cleared its first hurdle Wednesday, overcoming some legislators' concerns about perception and public safety.

A subcommittee of the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee gave preliminary approval to Sen. Emmett Hanger's bill to authorize inmate labor at Virginia's 42 rest stops.

Former Gov. Tim Kaine shuttered 19 rest stops before leaving office last year in an attempt to save money. Gov. Bob McDonnell ordered the rest stops reopened soon after taking office, vowing to find cheaper ways to operate them.

Each rest stop costs about $500,000 a year to maintain and keep open. Hanger and supporters of his bill said allowing inmates to do most of the work would reduce costs and improve maintenance at the rest stops.

Some legislators worried that having inmates and armed guards at rest stops would be perceived poorly by those visiting or passing through the state.

"I'm not sure it necessarily sends the message that we want to send in that particular situation," said Sen. George Barker, D-Fairfax County.

Supporters argued that most of the work would be outside the rest stops — mowing grass, landscaping and making structural repairs — instead of inside the facilities and would be done during off hours. Inmates would not be in orange jumpsuits.

Hanger argued that the labor would improve the appearance of the rest stops, impressing those who stop at them.

"The flowers are going to look prettier. The grass is going to be kept. The roof in going to be repaired," said Hanger, R-Augusta. "They're in Virginia, and Virginia uses common sense."

No violent prisoners or sex offenders would be allowed to do the work.

Inmates currently work along Virginia's roadways throughout the state and on Capitol Square.

Hanger said there are thousands of inmates perfectly suited for the work, and that doing something constructive helps prepare them for re-entry into society.

"They're going to be our neighbors in just a couple of months anyway," he said.

Assistant Transportation Secretary Matt Strader said the inmate labor would cost the department about $1.50 per hour per inmate.

"It's just about cost savings and finding the most efficient way to get this work done," he said.