Quite an interesting time at the Howard County delegation meeting to hear testimony on prefiled bills last Thursday night. I'll share my general thoughts in a bit, but for now, I wish to focus this post on a bill that has again been prefiled by a member of the local delegation, that I think needs to pass.
Delegate Warren Miller has again submitted for the legislature's approval his bill to allow for nonprofits to do casino fundraisers in Howard County. Of course, this thing is possible in many other jurisdictions, but not in the HoCo. In fact, Del. Miller told me that some jurisdictions that already allow this are those who have been blocking this bill from eventually passing. The local delegation has been supporting this bill for the last five years and he expects the bill to pass through the delegation again this year.
I've always felt it a little goofy how selective state legislators can be, and are, in allowing some things in other jurisdictions but not allowing other things in them. It's a little bit of provincialism that I wish would go away. Passing this bill would allow that to happen, and no, it's not the gateway drug to casino gambling coming to Howard County.
Other thoughts on the hearing:
Why was there no bill 1-15 for the local delegation? Someone eat it?
I liked how all the newly-elected legislators for Howard County were sitting behind the current legislators. I know Eric Ebersole looked like he was enjoying himself. Incidentally, I have high hopes for Eric Ebersole. I recall first meeting him, and I have to admit, for a long time he seemed to me to be kinda....bland. But upon further observation, this is a very smart guy who truly loves talking about policy and politics and is truly, very happy to be serving. I think he's going to do the HoCo and the BaltCo quite proud.
HCPSS Superintendednt Renee Foose and most of the School Board showed up to oppose the bond bill to create the Harriet Tubman Center. On the basis that the property is currently used as an HCPSS facility. During the entire time of the hearing spent on this bill I couldn't shake the feeling that there was something going on I didn't know about. Maybe that was the weirdness of seeing the Superintendent, Ann DeLacy and Janet Siddiqui all on the same side of an issue.
Who was the guy at the start of the hearing who wanted everyone to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance? That was weird.
And speaking of weird-- 2014 saw me bury the hatchet with Lemle, may it see me bury the hatchet with Mirabile as well? I had a good conversation with Frank after the hearing. A lot of the conversation was about the state of affairs in West Baltimore.
Anyway-- dammit, Assembly, pass Miller's casino night bill! That is all. Oh, does that mean that last year's Vegas-themed Evening in the Stacks was committed in sin?
And let's be careful out there.
#hocopolitics #generalassembly #MDGA2015