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Monday, October 29, 2007

Slots & Taxes: What our legislators are saying (part 6)

(Posted 29 Oct 2007)
Lawmakers set to tackle taxes, slot machines.
Times, 29 Oct 2007 (LoBianco).
* * * Delegate Doyle L. Niemann, Prince George's Democrat, said support from lawmakers in his voter-rich county could hitch their support to the state finding new money for the Prince George"s hospital system.

"The governor is going to need a lot of support to get his package through," he said. "There are 23 delegates and eight senators from Prince George"s County."
* * *
Lots of bills filed, but few will make the cut.
Annapolis Capital, 28 Oct 2007 (Zieminski).
As legislators converge on Annapolis tomorrow to begin wrangling over the state's $1.7 billion budget deficit, Delegate Tawanna Gaines wants them to remember the three-wheeled motorcycle.
Ms. Gaines, D-Prince George's, plans to submit a bill in the special legislative session that would change the state's definition of a motorcycle, allowing the 12 to 15 owners of three-wheeled motorcycles in the state to register them with the Motor Vehicle Administration, she said.

It is one of scores of bills that might be introduced in the session that is supposed to focus on the budget: The Department of Legislative Services was drafting at least 80 bills as of Wednesday for possible consideration in the special session.

While the Maryland Constitution allows lawmakers to submit bills on any subject they want during a special session, House and Senate leaders are urging legislators to stay focused on Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposals for solving the deficit by raising some taxes and amending others.

"The hope is to handle the special session as expeditiously as possible," said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, D-Calvert.
* * *
But Ms. Gaines is confident her motorcycle bill will pass because "the facts are very straightforward."

The MVA let the three-wheeled motorcycle owners register their vehicles before officials realized state law does not recognize them as motorcycles, Ms. Gaines said. The MVA withdrew the registrations, preventing the owners from legally driving their vehicles.

And she thinks her motorcycle bill is part of the "matter at hand."

"This bill technically has to do with the budget, because you have to pay taxes on a brand new bike," she said.

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