Del. Glen Glass

As seasonal temperatures finally move into the area, avid outdoorsman and Maryland District 34A Del. Glen Glass, offers holiday greetings to drivers along Route 40 in Aberdeen Saturday. Glass and the Maryland General Assembly convene for the 2013 legislative session today (Wednesday). (Photo courtesy of Kevin J. Parks / January 5, 2013)

Harford's delegation to the Maryland General Assembly will be tackling a number of major bills this year, including those dealing with gun control and the death penalty.

Some elected officials, like Sen. Nancy Jacobs, plan to fight those measures. Jacobs said her committee, Judicial Proceedings, will be reviewing those proposals and she is "against everything I have seen so far."

Jacobs said she plans to confront efforts to "take away guns" and to repeal the death penalty.

Nevertheless, "the big issue, of course, is going to be taxes and gun control," she said. "That should be very interesting, should be a very lively session."


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Sen. Barry Glassman said the General Assembly has already averaged 50 to 100 letters on the issue of gun control.

The gas tax, which came up last year, will also be "a big issue," as will items related to septic systems and PlanMaryland, the state's new comprehensive master plan.

The long-contested hotel tax is not expected to get any traction, she said. So far, the delegation, except Del. Glen Glass, appears to be against the proposed room tax.

Glass said he is willing to support enabling legislation that would allow the county council to make it a county issue.

He said he probably would not introduce it, however, because it does not seem any other representatives would support it.

"It's dead in the water," he said of the room tax bill. "There's no chance, because everyone is thinking about the primaries and it's not going to go anywhere."

Jacobs said of the room tax: "It's not going to be an issue in the Senate, that's for sure."

Glassman said he likewise has not heard anything on the tax or any requests to bring it back.

"We have never seen a good accounting for how much that would generate, what the rate would be and how that money would be split up," he said.

Jacobs, for her part, plans to introduce bills that would close a loophole in child sex offender laws and allowing new AED defibrillators that give vocal instruction to the user.

The sex offender legislation focuses on people such as part-time coaches and teachers, in regard to background checks, Jacobs explained.

The AED "is amazing and it will save more lives than CPR because if you can get to somebody in the first four minutes with a defibrillator, there is about an 80 percent chance that they can make it," she said.

Glass, meanwhile, said he plans to introduce at least 20 bills, including one that would give a $5,000 tax credit for businesses that hire a disabled veteran and a $100 tax credit for anyone adopting a dog or cat from a shelter.

He also intends to bring back a bill allowing electricity consumers to opt out of BGE's Smart Meter program.

"Obviously I led the fight on that last year," he said. "Because of the health issues, privacy issues, I want people to have the right to opt out at no cost to them."

Glass is also proposing a bill to create a task force to study tax assessments.