From left to right: Legislative Affairs Vice-Chair Josh Bokee, Delegate Kathleen Dumais, and MCCC President & CEO Gigi Godwin
Legislative Affairs Vice-Chair Josh Bokee welcomed MCCC members and introduced Delegate Kathleen Dumais from Montgomery County who serves in leadership in the Maryland House of Delegates as Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee.
Delegate Dumais began her discussion by explaining the high profile issues in the Judiciary Committee this session, focusing on gun control legislation and a proposal to abolish the death penalty in Maryland. She explained that she was in a hearing that began Friday at 1pm lasted until 4am on Saturday morning regarding the Governor’s proposal on gun control.
She also highlighted two business issues that she spoke about at-length. The first is her efforts and the efforts of Delegate Ben Kramer to keep the “contributory negligence” standard in Maryland. Delegate Dumais explained that there is a pending court case that would change this standard to “comparative fault”. She has put in legislation that would study the two standards, while leaving the current standard in place.
Delegate Dumais has also introduced legislation that would establish a commission to study Maryland’s business tax climate. She came to this idea because she was disturbed by how the State made decisions on when and how to levy a tax. She said that it seemed like the State added tax burdens to fill a budget hole, rather than to set a strategic tax policy. Her legislation, HB 1302 – Commission on Tax Policy, Reform, and Fairness has a hearing on Friday and the Chamber will be testifying in support.
She spoke about transportation funding in the State and assured the group that the leadership will be submitting a transportation bill this week (one was sponsored on the evening of March 4th). She described the State’s desperate need to raise transportation dollars for critical projects, especially those in Montgomery County.