School safety, utilty company monoplies, tax break bills under consideration in Annapolis [Commentary]
By By Del. Glen Glass
Mar 23, 2018 at 12:10 PM
One of a series of commentaries by Harford County legislators on the 2018 Maryland General Assembly session.
First of all, I want to say how shocked and saddened I am with the sudden passing of Sen. Wayne Norman. Sen. Norman was a great family man, legislator and friend to so many and will be missed!!! Our wonderful Gov. Hogan has appointed his wife, Linda Norman as the new senator. She is highly qualified, capable and will do a great job for her constituents. Thanks to all of you for praying for my mom who had bypass surgery, she is doing well!!
Marylanders are grieving the loss of life with the terrible school shooting in St. Mary’s County. Let’s pray for the victims, families and the community. How do we stop the violence? We need to focus on mental health and security. One delegate, Rick Impallaria, proposed having some teachers armed, which is working very well in Ohio. His bill would allow teachers to carry if they want to after they receive appropriate training. Another bill by Del. Szeliga, I also support, would allow some members of a church who have been approved by the pastor to be armed.
One thing for sure, taking guns away from law abiding citizens won’t stop the crime and violence. There are some gun bills that passed out of committee and they are mostly bad. I did vote for third party transfer, HB 1646, because these cats are convicted and the bill does allow them to sell their guns to a dealer. The bump stock bill doesn’t ban bump stocks and this bill won’t stop crime. President Trump is banning these bump stocks so this bill is unnecessary. The really bad gun bill is HB1302, which I voted against in committee because it allows your neighbors to call in on you with no accountability. They could only get charged with perjury and no one gets convicted of that. HB 1302 is well intentioned and if done right would help stop some really bad people from doing bad things. It’s in the Senate now and is coming back to the House heavily amended. I really hope they fixed it so I can vote for it.
I have been standing up to the monopoly utility companies since I was elected by introducing Smart Meter Opt Out Bills that eliminate these fees. I voted against all taxes and fees. We were able to get an Opt Out but you have to pay a fee to keep your old meter. Gov. Hogan cut these fees in half. Smart Meters are really bad! They cause high bills, are a big brother invasion of privacy, cause fires and health problems.
Another great bill the whole Harford delegation supported was HB 910. This bipartisan bill identifies children who are struggling readers; 70 percent of juvenile offenders have reading issues.
Also, I introduced three tax break bills. One would be a tax break for purchasing bluetooth devices. The other bill is a tax break for adopting a cat or dog. There are a lot of retired police dogs with many health problems and this bill would be a nice tax break for veterinarian bills for the police who adopt these retired dogs who have been serving and protecting us their whole life.
Police are a force for good and we need to take care of them. I have always supported the police and have sponsored bills to support them. I voted to give the State Police a raise and a bill to make hurting a police officer a hate crime. I did vote against collective bargaining for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, which will lead to binding arbitration. As a conservative Reagan Republican, I can’t support collective bargaining because it will lead to tax increases or decreased services only to give one group a raise. I supported County Executive Barry Glassman giving the sheriff’s deputies a very nice raise and it was well deserved. Last year, Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler wanted a raise, which would make his salary more than the County Executive Barry Glassman. Barry Glassman opposed it and so did I because Gahler was already making well over $100,000. I voted no on all raises for politicians making over $100,000. I can’t look at my constituents who may be struggling, living month to month in the eye and say I gave a raise to someone making $100,000. I voted against the pay raise for the state’s attorney, the judges who are making $195,000 and just voted against a pay raise for clerk of the court.
I support Gov. Hogan’s tough on crime bills, as well as his economic plan to make Maryland a business friendly state. I support his plan to bring Amazon to Maryland creating billions to the economy and creating 100,000 new jobs. Thank you Gov. Hogan for reducing the tolls and Making Maryland Great Again.
I can be reached at glenglassworks.com, Delegate Glen Glass on Facebook or 410-946-5000.