ANNAPOLIS — State lawmakers launched into the final legislative session of their elected terms Wednesday with a look back at an action-packed three years.

On the session’s opening day, some officials celebrated the recent success of controversial proposals that range from death penalty repeal to legalization of same-sex marriage and raising the gas tax. And though lawmakers have put the bulk of the current term behind them, the coming session promises another round of strong debate over issues such as whether to raise the state’s minimum wage.

“There will be no coasting this legislative session. We have work to do,” Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown told members of the House of Delegates.

Sen. Ron Young, a Frederick County Democrat who is joining the push to raise the minimum wage, said he is pleased with the Maryland General Assembly’s accomplishments during his time in office.

His viewpoint is shared by few lawmakers on the other side of the aisle. Delegate Michael Hough, R-District 3B, said he thinks recent years are notable for “crushing people of middle income and lower income” with tax increases.

For a couple of local lawmakers, this session could represent a last chance to make a mark on Annapolis; delegates Patrick Hogan and Galen Clagett have said they do not intend to run for re-election later this year.

In his last session, Hogan plans on offering a bill to create a task force to plan for the future of I-270. He is also crafting a proposal to change the legislative and congressional redistricting process. Hogan said his goal is to make redistricting more transparent and nonpartisan.

“I at least want to start the conversation before I leave,” said Hogan, R-District 3A.

Clagett, who plans to bow out after completing his third term as delegate, said in coming weeks he’ll submit bills related to transportation funding and reducing corporate income tax rates.

“It’s been a nice 12-year run, but it’s time to go,” Clagett, D-District 3A, said of his time in office.

Clagett, who was in the hospital Wednesday, missed the first day of session. He said he expected he’d also be absent today but would be back in Annapolis on Friday.

Sen. David Brinkley is taking on new roles this session as the leader of his chamber’s Republican caucus and by moving off the Budget and Taxation Committee. Brinkley’s new position on the Senate Finance Committee will likely put him near the center of debates on increasing the state’s minimum wage, which is now $7.25 an hour.

Brinkley, R-District 4, said he opposes changing the minimum wage at the state level.

“That puts Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore at a competitive disadvantage,” he said, adding that the federal government should handle any increases.

Young, D-District 3, said he is getting behind a wage hike.

“I would challenge anybody to try to live on $7.25 an hour,” he said. “That’s less than $1,300 a month, and after deductions, you can barely pay rent.”

This session is also the last in which Delegate Donald Elliott, R-District 4B, will represent Frederick County, which will no longer fall within his district even if he is re-elected.

Follow Bethany Rodgers on Twitter: @BethRodgersFNP.

(31) comments

backroomfrederick
backroomfrederick

You be the Republican and I'll be the Democrat that way we'll always have an income.

jerseygrl42
jerseygrl42

the only good bit of news here is it will be the last time that pick-pocket omalley will be able to do so to the taxpaying citizens of this state...and we need to make certain his clone does not get elected

ALincoln
ALincoln

Ah yes, Blaine Young "looking back at the last three action packed years"...........how nostalgic.......closing Montevue and Citizens homes for the poor, closing senior centers, underfunding education, incinerators and gas pumping stations......ah yes, those have been good years.

rockthered888
rockthered888

Why is Blaine Young on the front page? Last time I checked, he was not elected to office in the state government.

armillary
armillary

Maybe dad took a cab to work. He's got the limo driver coat on.

elymus43
elymus43

Dennis Rodman would be a better candidate.

jerseygrl42
jerseygrl42

this one is questionable

tomgeiser
tomgeiser

Don't blame Blaine for damaging the Young name! Ron was beaten by Paul Gordon and Jeff Holtzinger in his last two runs for mayor. Neither had ever run for office before, city voters were just FED-UP with Ron Young. The only election he has won in the last couple of decades was beating Jennifer in the primary, he then out spent Jeff by about 10 to1 and still lost the regular election. His election to the state senate can hardly be considered a victory, state Dems spent about $330,000.00 to replace Mooney. We will see about Mr. Young when has to run on (not away from) his voting record in Annapolis.

watson4sherlock
watson4sherlock

Are you sure Blaine wasn't adopted? Not much family resemblance.

jerseygrl42
jerseygrl42

agree and he is the one who stated he didn't wish to get involved in the incinerator conflict as it is a "local issue"....I guess he doesn't know about omalleys "Tier One Green" tag or the Waste Authority , a STATE agency which stands to pick our pockets of $25 MILLION if the garbage burner is built..... just another mt suit!

Further, the businesses I speak of that we should be seeking to join us here in Frederick County, should be spread throughout, not all in and around Frederick City.

Also, I have my coffee now. Please excuse the quickly written (with typo/mistakes) comment below. This leader did not stop to proof-read before submitting. It happens to the best of us!

dbjanda1
dbjanda1

Next time FNP include photo ops. of ALL Delegates and Senators not just some of the CHOSEN FEW...You're prejudice is showing...Me

The best leaders get the root of a problem and fix it from there. It is often a big challenge so many less energetic leaders will attempt little partial fixes that only allow the problem to grow bigger. Ignoring why it exists and therefore, allowing the cause to continue to grow, while spinning their wheels in the mud trying to catch up to it!
Now, let's refer to 270 with his in mind:
1. the root of the problem ~ not nearly enough career opportunities in Frederick to allow citizens to work here (unless they work for low/minimum wage) therefore the race every morning on 270 and also 70 (not as bad yet) to get to work that can actually support the average family and keep them off assistance.
2. This has been ignored for years, and while many have spoken of bringing jobs to Frederick, some of the very ones that promised this actually have spent several years of lay-offs and outsourcing from business out of the county...SHAMEFUL!
3. Some have even approved MORE of these commuters, by approving more homes in an area already riddled with congestion and unsafe travel (including extremely high truck traffic at speeds 20mph over the speed limit, on hills and turns with no shoulders on the road ~ the very road they share with SCHOOL BUSES!

When there's a politician that is ready to lead the charge to overcoming one of the biggest challenges Frederick County faces (2nd only to the drug problem that is killing our children) and start inviting and negotiating to bring businesses here and be friendly to those that are already here, then that will be worthy of front page news!

I'd like to see the BOCC spend more time on drafting strategic plans to start to tackle the mess, rather than spend there time writing nasty, low letters to the editor!

Thank you for your time ~ folks!

adtwiggiv
adtwiggiv

This comment spotlights the single biggest flaw in the current BoCC's strategy. They keep approving more housing developments that generate short term jobs but do nothing for long term employment in Frederick County. They approve the Jefferson Tech Park, at a huge cost to taxpayers, but there is no clear focus in that project that will attract businesses with stable, high paying jobs. Frederick is uniquely positioned, and should serve as the anchor for the bio-tech industry, because of Fort Detrick. Why local politicians have not taken advantage of this is mind boggling.

backroomfrederick
backroomfrederick

Retail strip malls, $8/hr jobs and $400,000 homes for MoCo employees. Frederick's building boom. Frederick tax payers exist to foot infrastructure bill for sweetheart deals and traffic. Nothing substantial for the current resident like a better hospital, more quality places of employment, schools without rows of portables, solving the Golden Mile issues, making Rt. 15 safer, cleaning up environmental messes....Just more taxes, strained systems and blind merge lanes. Job well done. Enjoy the BA's shrimp cocktail boys.

president8444
president8444

Ron getting info from Blaine 2 winners here,WHY??Look voters our leaders.HO HO I voted for both,never again.Ron the worse ,just follow O'malley, he and Galen.Oh he got my vote too,no more.Wher is our gambling money going and lotto money,still in debt.We know jan gardner signed in for our debt for the new nursing home ,yes she didi,its a real burden ,not necessary for us.She lost ,now wanys more spending,just say no to all of these real losers.Gone and forgotten.[censored]

armillary
armillary

Say it ain't so, woody! Why aren't you backing Blaine anymore? What changed your mind?

newsfrederick
newsfrederick

Perfect picture of 2 crooks !! Talking about how they can swindle money out of developers to approve land deals.

LucyLucy
LucyLucy

Caption for above photo:
Ron: I really wish he would just pretend he didn't know me, this is embarrassing, I am still amazed what comes out of his mouth.

Blaine: Now let's go sit together because no one likes me and I want to tell you about mean Jan Gardner.

japorciento
japorciento

[lol]

armillary
armillary

A duck tail is Blaine's new hairstyle
we haven't seen one for a while
it's not like his dad
but was probably a fad
when Walter T. Mills was a child.

nopulitzerprize4fnp
nopulitzerprize4fnp

How in the world do you come up with these doozies, arm? Have you considered a book of limerics? Maybe even on the "blue" side?

armillary
armillary

"It's funny because it's true." The blue ones get deleted by 8am.

nopulitzerprize4fnp
nopulitzerprize4fnp

I'll have to log on earlier and do a screen save!

thump1202
thump1202

"Sen. Ron Young... said he is pleased with the Maryland General Assembly’s accomplishments during his time in office."

The Young family can't seem to keep their hands out of the taxpayer's pockets, send them all packing in 2014.

fredneckforever
fredneckforever

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Ballenger Creek Golfer
Ballenger Creek Golfer

[thumbdown][thumbdown][thumbdown]

Sanker
Sanker

[thumbup] Agreed, with the emphasis on "them ALL."

armillary
armillary

Ron Young will always have my vote. He makes total sense to me.

armillary
armillary

If you want Ron Young out because of the family name, you probably voted Blaine in for the same reason in 2010. You have to dig a little deeper than name recognition. They are practically at opposite ends of the political spectrum.

thump1202
thump1202

I could care less about the political spectrum. I want him out for supporting tax em omalley's tax frenzy and lending support to giving greater rights to illegal immigrants than US citizens in other states have. about the only thing he supported that I agree with was gay marriage. as for blaine. i listened to his show a couple times and that was all i needed to completely reject him and his slate in 2010, i voted gray and the rest was a protest vote to the D's who I didn't really agree with either but felt would do less damage and would at least take that ridiculous incinerator off of the table.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.