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February 4, 2011

Will MD's GOP walk the walk on curbing debt?

House minority whip Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, an Eastern Shore Republican, had some bold words Thursday on Gov. Martin O'Malley's handling of the state's budget.

In responding to Gov. Martin O'Malley's State of the State address noted the state's mounting debt and but also observed that:  "Many legislative members, including myself, have important projects that we would like to have funded."

She then offered to take one on the chin for the sake of fiscal responsibility.

"In light of the economic times we face, our caucus has asked that these projects not be funded," said Haddaway-Riccio, who represents Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico and Talbot counties. 

The only problem: Haddaway-Riccio two weeks ago asked the state to borrow $250,000 for a  project in Talbot County. Her request, H.B. 30, pays for a bulkhead replacement at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

Quoting from Haddaway-Riccio's bill: "The Board of Public Works may borrow money and incur indebtedness on behalf of the State of Maryland through a State loan to be known as the Talbot County Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Bulkhead Replacement Loan of 2011."

The legislation is one of hundreds of so-called "bond bills" that members introduce every year in an attempt to secure funds for "important projects" in their districts. It's a state government equivalent to a federal earmark.

We called Haddaway-Riccio to get her take on how her legislative record squares with her State of the State response. She hasn't called back, but if she does, we'll add her response here.

Haddaway-Riccio said this morning that she introduced the Maritime Museum bill before she had a chance to see the governor's budget. Haddaway-Riccio said she's not withdrawing her bill.

Posted by Annie Linskey at 12:06 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: 2011 legislative session


A Republican preaching fiscal responsibility at the same time she's getting fat at the public trough? You must be joking! How about this - O'Malley calls the Republican's bluff and demands that each member of the GOP caucus publish a list of the programs and projects IN THEIR HOME DISTRICTS that should be cut in their local newspapers. Let's see how they handle the heat.

The problem with this report by Annie Linskey is that the Republicans do NOT control the legislative process at all. The decision to host bond bills will ultimately be that of Speaker Busch and President Miller.

If Republicans submit no bond bills, but Busch and Miller allow them then only Democrat-sponsored/districts will receive bond bills.

But in the game of 'gotcha' the media likes to vilify the Republicans for who knows what reason. Gov. O'Malley said we need to cut $1 billion in his SOS speech, but he only offered up $400 million in cuts--where is the posting on that? Media bias these days seems to be getting worse!

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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