Delegate Kathy Szeliga (R-7) laments that the legislators in the General Assembly legislate:
So far, there have been 1159 bills introduced in the House of Delegates and 821 in the Senate. Some of these are duplicate bills filed in each chamber – called cross filed bills.
Remember, every bill has the potential of becoming a law. Do you think we need an additional 2,000 laws every year?
Consistency being the hobgoblin of little minds, naturally the next thing she writes her constituents is:
I am the primary sponsor of 6 bills.
Later, she writes proudly:
I have cosponsored many other bills. If you’d like to see the whole list of bills I’ve sponsored and cosponsored CLICK HERE.
Wasting Taxes Doing Something about Nothing
Unintended irony appears to be Del. Szeliga’s strong suit because at least one of these bills is a complete make work project for the General Assembly:
HB 454 – will prohibit the State of Maryland from charging drivers a Vehicle Miles Traveled tax. This is a concept that has been considered in the past. It’s a terrible idea for lots of reasons.
Cutting through the anti-tax rhetoric, Del. Szeliga wants to ban a tax that we don’t have through a law that could be overturned by the General Assembly as easily as it is passed in the first place.
But having wasted taxpayers funds and the General Assembly’s time, she can engage in the time-honored Republican tradition of going home and talking about how she fought the good fight on taxes, even though she will have done nothing even if her bill passes.
So, as it turns out, Del. Szeliga is right. Legislators are sponsoring unneeded legislation. She just didn’t realize that she met the enemy when she looked in the mirror.
Gun-ho–But Only for Non-Marylanders
Unfortunately, some of her legislation that would actually have an impact is even worse:
HB 735 – will allow people traveling through our state to transport legally owned firearms via vehicle or boat. The unintended consequences of the restrictive gun bill that passed a couple of years ago is that it prohibits lawful firearm owners from driving or boating through our state with certain firearms that are now illegal to own in Maryland.
In other words, despite her claims to the contrary, the law is working as intended. Bizarrely, Del. Szeliga’s bill would give non-state residents a free pass to carry weapons that we don’t allow our own residents to possess.
Earmarks are A-OK
Other Szeliga bills look more promising–such as the one to raise penalties for human trafficking. Strikingly though, the Republican opposition to earmarks and to spending flies right out of Del. Szeliga’s window when it involves her own constituents:
HB 1147 – is a matching grant request for $200,000 for Angel Park in Perry Hall. This new park will be located on Honeygo Blvd and will be similar to Annie’s Playground in Harford County – a playground fully accessible to handicapped children. Angel Park has already raised about $1 million in private contributions and this will help with the playground equipment purchase. There are usually $7 million in grants for community projects approved by the House and $7 million by the Senate.
Don’t get me wrong; this sounds like a great idea. I worked with my colleagues on the Town Council and in the County to improve playgrounds in my own Town. It’s even better that the playground will be fully accessible. I like Del. Szeliga’s earmark so much that surely some must suspect that she is part of the liberal problem rather than the conservative solution.
Indeed, a true spendthrift conservative Republican should perceive this as an earmark by the State in an area of local responsibility that just makes it harder for Gov. Hogan to keep his tax cutting promises. Especially amusing is her not-so-subtle mention of this being part of $7 million in state grants. Read: it’s OK; all the kids are doing it.